Spanish Iberian ham attracts Chinese palates

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MADRID, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) — Cured Spanish Iberian ham (jamon in Spanish) produced from black acorn-fed pigs which have run wild through oak woodland is without doubt the jewel in the crown for Spanish gastronomy and it is becoming very popular with Chinese consumers.

According to the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade, China is a “market where people appreciate good things,” as shown by the fact that 2017 saw 150 tons of “jamon” exported to the country.

In order to protect the image of one of its most famous products, Spain’s Inter-professional Association for Iberian Pigs (ASICI) has launched a campaign to ensure every Iberian ham carries a ticket authenticating its origin.

ASICI’s Technical Director Manuel Gonzalez explained the tickets allowed consumers “to know exactly where the pig has come from and what it has eaten.”

Spain has around 80 slaughterhouses and some 500 companies dedicated to the production of “jamon”.

Jose Andres, director of one of those companies, told Xinhua that the work of ASICI to protect the image of “jamon” has been important, especially abroad.

“It’s logical that it sells well in other countries; everyone values things that are good and in this case it has been our best kept secret,” added Andres.

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