The Christmas holidays are drawing near, a time of year when there are lots of family reunions and meals. One of the essential guests at every table is Jamon Ibérico – Iberian ham, and we at Josep Llorens can give you tips to help you choose the best option.

Advice to choose the best ham for Christmas

It can be hard to make the right choice when buying ham, but these simple tips should make it a lot easier.

The leg

The first thing to look at is the shape of the leg, which should be long and slender. Bear in mind that the narrower the shank of the leg, the better the quality. In other words, look for a slim piece.

The hoof

Look for a black hoof, which is the sign of Iberian ham. You should also look for signs of wear on the hoof, if the wear is uniform, it means that animal was reared in the fields. If, on the contrary, the inner part is shorter, it means it did not, so you should not choose it.

The colour

Ham must be handled with care and attention, so it must be clean. Don’t waste time on any hams that are dirty.


A good ham must have a thick covering layer of fat. Pay attention to the fat on the side of the leg, which should be shiny and a little runny. Remember that the fat on better quality hams melts at lower temperatures.


Top quality hams usually weigh in at over eight kilos with no problem.

Choose wisely for this Christmas

Now that you know what to look for, you are ready to go and choose your ham for this Christmas. A final word of advice is to be wary of what may seem like bargains, because raising quality Iberian pigs requires serious investment.

Merry Christmas from Josep Llorens!