CulturePlaces of interestSpanish food

Cinco Jotas, Jabugo

Jabugo, a town with a population of 2,250 located inside the Natural Park of the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche (Huelva, Andalusia in Spain), is famous for its Iberian ham. It is home to Cinco Jotas, founded in 1879, renowned worldwide for its Acorn-fed 100% Ibérico Ham.

Cinco Jotas, Jabugo - the main building
Cinco Jotas, Jabugo

In August, I had the opportunity to visit the Cinco Jotas curing cellars. This included a tour of the exposition area, a visit to the original curing caves, a ham carving demonstration and a tasting of acorn-fed 100% ibérico ham with Fino.

Cinco Jotas - The restored outbuildings
The restored outbuildings

The Iberico pig is an ancient breed of African origin, halfway between the boar and the domestic pig, an indigenous breed exclusive to the south-western Iberian Peninsula.

Cinco Jotas ham is the work of nature and the passage of time: over five years to create a ham.

Part of the outbuildings seen during the tour

Almost two tears of free-range living, when the pigs can roam freely in the dehesa, where they enjoy the acorns, roots, and plants.

During the tour of the centuries-old bodegas (curing cellars), I learned that each pig had more than two hectares of dehasa (grazing land with holm oaks, cork oaks or other species); that’s two football fields!

Dimly lit underground tunnels leading to the bodegas (curing cellars).
Underground tunnels leading to the bodegas (curing cellars)
The ham curing cellars
The ham curing cellars
Jamon curing in the bodegas (curing cellars) at Cinco Jotas, Jabugo
Jamon curing in the bodegas (curing cellars) at Cinco Jotas, Jabugo

Over three years for the ham to cure slowly in the Cinco Jotas natural cellars.

Hooks in the ceiling for hanging the hams
Hooks in the ceiling for hanging the hams
Curing the Acorn-fed Ibérico Ham
The hanging Acorn-fed Ibérico Ham
The tasting - three different cuts of Cinco Jotas Acorn-fed Ibérico Ham laid out on a plate.
The tasting at the end of the tour – three different cuts of Acorn-fed Ibérico Ham

After discovering Jabugo and enjoying a visit to the Cinco Jotas curing cellars, I drove the short distance to Linares de la Sierra. A quaint, medieval-looking village with a very famous restaurant!

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