Spanish food is popular all over the world and of course dishes like paella and potato omelet have something to do with it, but the real reason why it is so famous, are the Spanish cured meats. Even if you haven´t visited the country, you may have heard of Iberic ham and chorizo (which are delicious), but there are many others and today we are going to tell you everything about them.
Top 10 Spanish cured meats List
Whether you are at home and want to try to make them by yourself (which isn´t easy), or you are visiting the country and you want to make sure you don´t miss the best ones, get ready, because today we bring you our top 10 Spanish cured meats list:
Of course, we had to start our Spanish cured meat lit with the most famous one (by far).
In despite of what many people think, there is a huge variety of hams in Spain. To begin with, the main difference depends on which pig the ham comes from; it can either be from a white pig or from Iberic one. Of course, Iberic, is the special one.
But it doesn´t end there, depending on their feeding and treatment, the taste of the ham will also be different. The highest quality ham comes from pure-bred Iberian pigs who spend their lives feasting on the wild.
In any case, whichever the type, Spanish ham is something you should try at least once in your life.
The second most popular Spanish cured meat is chorizo. If you have never tried it, chorizo is basically a sausage made meat and pork fat, seasoned with paprika and garlic.
As it happens with ham, you will also find different types of chorizos. They will change depending on how cured they are, they region they come from and of course the most important part, the ingredients.
Other than eating it as a tapa, which is the most common way to do it, chorizos are also used for cooking, to add more flavor to the dish, a great example of it is the fabada from Asturias.
Here is comes our favorite cured meat in Spain. This large sausage is made of lean pork, pork belly, white pepper, paprika and garlic, but unlike chorizo, it isn´t spicy a all.
In Spain everyone loves fuet so much, that if you are living with your family or a group of friends and you bring a fuet bar, it will probably last you less than 5 minutes.
Fuet can be eaten in different ways, the most common one, is just cutting a few slices and then straight to your mouth, but some people prefer to get it as a tapa with bread or even make a sandwich with it.
In this case we must travel all the way to the Balearic Islands, being more specific to Mallorca. That´s the island where this typical Spanish cured meat is from and where most of the Sobrasada is produced.
The authentic Sobrasada is made with pork from the black pig local to Mallorca, and different spices, including a red paprika that also grows in the island. This recipe is fully made of Balearic ingredients.
It is usually eaten spread on a toast, just like if it was butter. Although it may sound weird, many people also combine it with honey.
As it happens with fuet, this sausage is super popular in Spain, but not as much in other countries. Lomo is basically a cured tenderloin seasoned with salt, paprika and garlic. The process of curing it takes about 3 months and during those months it should be left hanged and drying.
The way Spaniards would usually enjoy lomo is as a tapa while having a cold bear, but it wouldn´t be so weird if you find someone who eats is as a sandwich, it makes a great combination.
Last of all, you should know there are two types of lomo; embuchado ibérico or caña de lomo ibérico de bellota.
Photo by: @Ibericosizquierdo
Also known as blood sausage, Morcilla has always been recognized as one of the best Spanish cured meats. Depending on the region, Morcillas are made in one way or another, so there isn´t a standard recipe. That said, some ingredients you will find on it are, pig´s blood, which is the most important part, spices, and onions.
Spanish blood sausage can either be eaten as an entry or as a tapa accompanied with a slice of bread which is the most common way to do it.
If you are looking for the best morcillas there is, we recommend you visiting Burgos, they make a unique type, mixing the ingredients we told you before with rice and it is delicious.
Photo by: @PincasPhoto
Chorizo and salchichón are made in a very similar way, but if you try them, you will see there is a huge difference between on and the other.
Both are usually made with pork, but the difference is in the spices, while chorizo requires adding paprika, which is what gives the reddish color, salchichon would need instead black pepper.
As it happens with most of the cured meats, salchichón can either be eaten as a tapa or as a sandwich. It is super common to see kids taking a salchichón sandwich for the school break.
Photo by: @Krista
Lacón is many times skipped when taking about the most famous Spanish cured meats, but in our opinion, it should always make it to this top 10 list.
It is a type of ham that comes from the white pig, but in this case, the taste is completely different to the others we have told you before. There are different types of Lacón, but the most common one is original from Galicia, in the north of Spain. Over there, it is usually served with hot paprika and potatoes, just like they would do with octopus, and it is delicious.
Photo by: @Tamorlan
Traveling to the other side of the north of Spain, you will find the next Spanish cured meat. We are talking about the famous white sausage called butifarra. It isn´t just one of the most important meals in Catalonia, but super popular all over the country.
Depending on the ingredients it is made of, you will find many different types of butifarras. For example, the raw butifarra, made of raw pork and spices, but grilled latter, black butifarra, which contains pork blood, just like Morcilla, white butifarra, which is one of the most famous ones and many others.
Of course, each one taste different, so we recommend you trying a few of them and see which one you prefer.
Photo by: @Javier Lastras
Last of all, we are going to finish our Spanish cured meats list, with something that doesn´t come from a pork, but from a cow, we are talking about Cecina.
The first time you see a plate with Cecina, you will think it is ham, because the look is extremely similar and even when trying it the texture is similar, but the taste is totally different. It is in our opinion stronger than ham.
This Spanish delish is typical from León and it is usually served with olive oil, which makes it be not so dry.
Enjoy the Spanish cured meats
That´s the end of our Spanish cured meats list, but there are a few more such as chistorra, botillo or longaniza, that we are sure you will also enjoy if you get to try them.
Please if you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments.