The 50% Iberian Bellota shoulder, like the 50% acorn-fed hams, comes from animals reared in the wild in the pastures and fed mainly on grass and acorns that they find in the fields during the montanera.
The shoulders are the front legs of the animal, and the process for producing them is the same as for producing hams, except that the curing time is different, as curing is a question of time and size: the larger the piece, the longer it takes to cure it.
Thus, while an acorn-fed acorn-fed ham takes around 4-5 years to cure, in the case of shoulders it takes around 24 months. Shoulders are smaller, the bone is bigger and consequently, they have less meat, which is why the price is lower than ham. But Paleta and Jamón are equally appreciated by those who try them! Iberian shoulders and hams also differ in their taste.
They are subtle differences, but the most demanding palates will see a greater smoothness and complexity in the slices of Iberian ham, while the shoulder will offer a more intense flavour, although with fewer nuances, due to its shorter curing time and the fact that its meat is closer to the bone. It is also important to bear in mind that the Iberian shoulder has more fat than the ham, and that also influences the flavour. However, in Spain and around the world there are many fans of the shoulder for its exclusive flavour and they would not change it for anything! Our Paletas follow the same rigorous process that begins with a careful selection of the raw material and exhaustive control in the feeding and meticulous care during its curing, just like its big brother, the ham. Montesano, the cult of Iberian ham!