On the weekend we went hiking in the Sierra de Aracena mountains, we simply had to visit this village. This was our first stop as this place is the most famous in the area. The mountains of Aracena are full of lovely Andalusian villages and amongst all of those Jabugo is probably the least attractive.
It simply just isn’t special. It has a nondescript church, a main square that is hard to top in being utterly unimaginative and a Town Hall that is a simple white building just like all the rest of the houses around it. Why is it so famous, you might ask? Well, Jabugo has one thing that made it well-known all throughout Spain and that is the object of the obsession of the whole country: it has the Holy Grail of jamón, the most special one you can find, the jamón iberico or pata negra (black feet).
You can read my overview about the Spanish jamón here.
It is actually so famous that even the main plaza is called Plaza del Jamón.
In the whole village of Jabugo we found only one statue and it was about a man holding a huge leg of pig.
The jamón shops line the streets like the orange trees line the streets of Seville. We went in one to buy some slices of this prized piece of meat as a present for some friends.
Then went into another one, too, ‘just to look around’ and came out with more stuff! These shops are pretty impressive, the walls are lined with huge pig legs, all ending up in the iconic black foot.
There were other pig-related items for sale, too.
The reason why this type of jamón is so highly praised is because the pigs here only eat one thing: acorns, or bellotas in Spanish. This diet gives their meat a stronger, fuller flavour that you can’t find anywhere else.
We ended up buying more than we originally came here for!
At lunch time during our first walk we opened up one of the packets we bought in the shop and finally had a taste of some jamón iberico. And then we understood. It was amazing! It really didn’t need anything else to accompany it with in the sandwich. All it needs is some nice, bakery-bought bread, good quality olive oil and maybe some tomato on the side. The taste is stronger and full of flavour. Viva la bellota pigs!