Spanish cured meats: jamón

When you visit a new country it’s important to learn about its history, culture, architecture… but it’s equally important to discover the typical food locals usually eat. One of the most typical things here are Spanish cured meats. In a sandwich, as a snack, over a toast or however you like. Locals will often improvise a quick informal dinner with just some bread with tomato (pa amb tomaquet), cheeses and some Spanish charcuterie.

But actually, the world of Spanish meats is wider than you’d think. Today we are sharing with you our favorite specialties, that you can find in most local stores. Make sure to try at least some of them!

This is our selection of favorite Spanish cold cuts:

Spanish Ham

Spanish ham is the most popular cured meat: the delicacy that you should not leave the country without trying! Jamon is made from the leg of a pig, cured in salt and dried for a few months. The cheap one is called Jamon Serrano, and it’s usually cured in high altitudes with low and dry temperatures. But don’t go for it: choose Jamón de Bellota instead, more expensive but a delicacy to the palate. Learn here the secrets of the King of Spanish charcuterie.


Lovers of intense flavors must try chorizo: a red sausage elaborated with pork minced meat and species such as pepper and garlic, responsible for its spicy touches and intense red/maroon color. Chorizo is very popular in Spain and each region elaborates its own variety with different species.

Spanish Charcuterie: salchichónSalchichón and Fuet

Although the origin of Salchichón is Greek and Roman, Spain has become a huge producer of this cold meat. There is a thousand ways of preparing it: in Catalonia one of our favorite versions is called Fuet, presented as a thin and long sausage. Both are done with pork minced meat, some black pepper, salt and some other species.


Despite its name, it’s not a cold cut made from a bull, but still, it’s only for the adventurous: This rather thick sausage is very typical from Catalonia and Valencia and it’s done with minced pork mixed with species, then boiled. There are different varieties: the white one is made with meat and fat and occasionally egg, while the black one incorporates blood pudding, which turns darker when cooked. Bull made with liver or tongue is also very appreciated.


Lomo is dried pork loin macerated with species and salt during a few days, then dried for a few more days. It’s not as popular that the other sausages but it’s very tasty. And if it’s from Iberian pigs…it’s terrific! It often makes any Spanish charcuterie platter of the best tapas bars.

AND BONUS! Did you know one of the most popular Spanish cured meats is something between a sausage and a spread?


Spanish cold cuts and meats: sobrassada
Photo courtesy of our awesome guide Marga Arnedo.

This cured meat comes from the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca…) and it’s made with salted minced pork, paprika and some other species. It must be left to dry for one month at least, depending on how thick the sausage is. In the Balearic Islands the sausage is so thick they can eat it sliced (and they love it also fried with honey, a very interesting sweet and sour contrast). In the Islands they also have a quite spicy version of it. Instead, in the rest of Spain you’ll find a softer variety (not spicy at all), that is usually spread over bread or toast or even on a sandwich. Probably one of the most interesting Spanish cold meats you’ll find!

So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: have you tried any of these Spanish cold cuts and did you like it?


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