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A history, culture and passion for quality
Located in Las Bautecas-Sierra de Franca in Salamanca, Fermín has been raising and slaughtering Ibérico Pigs and producing the highest quality Jamónes Ibérico (hams), since it was founded by the Fermín family in 1959. Today, Fermín continues to be family run, and is the leader in Ibérico husbandry, production and sanitation.
Embutidos Fermín is the first Spanish slaughterhouse to be granted USDA approval for export to the USA, which indicates the exacting standards of its working systems and its products. Their products are recognized in Spain for the highest quality, long-lasting taste with rich nutty aroma and flavor. Fermín family, whose farm in La Alberca epitomizes the best of Spanish artisanal cuisine, makes the ham and sausages using only Spain’s native Ibérico pigs.
The Ibérico Pig: The last of its kind
A descendent of the wild boar, “sus mediterraneus”
that once inhabited the forests of the entire Mediterranean shoreline, the Ibérico pig still roams free. The last free
ranging and grazing pigs in Europe, they are an integral piece of an ecosystem that exists solely in the dehesas of the southwestern Iberian Peninsula.
Large pre-Roman stone sculptures to this day are found throughout Spain’s regions, testifying to the age, strength and importance of the species. Today, the Ibérico breed is a stalwart symbol of individualism in the world’s ever homogenized genetic heritage. His characteristics: long, thin and strong legs, a pointed snout perched upon a short, meaty neck. His hair is dark but scant and hooves, dark-colored thus giving him the popular name of “pata negra” or “black foot”.
The secret of Ibérico’s flavor
It is the exclusive ability of the Ibérico pig to store large fatty deposits, which filter throughout the muscle mass, liberally marbling the meat in appearance and giving it an incomparable tenderness and texture. This fact is paired with the unique rearing and feeding, in complete freedom, with the entirely natural diet of his surroundings in the dehesa.
The dehesa, Mediterranean woodland, full of evergreens, cork oaks and gall oaks and other aromatic plants such as thyme and rosemary as well as a number of varieties of mushrooms, is the Ibérico’s natural habitat. It is here that the Ibérico lives and feeds.
After lactation, Ibérico pigs feed on grass, seeds roots and grain until they reach a weight of 175-250 pounds. The most fortunate Ibérico pigs are those born in early spring. They benefit from the montenera, (the peak of the fattening season) from November to January - it is at this time that
the Ibérico has the chance to become the famous Ibérico de Bellota. During this season these pigs feast upon the abundant Bellota, the fallen acorns of the evergreen and cork oaks; and the weight of the pig can increases as much as a pound a day.