The history of our iberian ham and sausages

“We can tell you many things about our history, we can write about our grandparents, our parents, about us and our children, but first we would like you to understand our essence, our way of understanding the world of ham and cured sausages, our way of understanding life. 

For us it does not matter what you have, it matters what you do and what defines you, it matters to be happy, it matters to feel proud of yourself and your way of earning a living.”

Dedicating ourselves to a basic sector such as food and providing products such as cured ham, cured Paleta (shoulder) or Iberian cured sausages so recognized worldwide is for us a very important challenge that we see more than rewarded with the way of life we lead and that allows us to maintain fundamental values like the family. In addition, the pride of feeling recognized by the sector, which takes us rewarding the last years with different awards, encourages us to improve ourselves every day.

From a truck with pigs and sheep to the gastronomic fairs of milan

My history has been like that of many other people of my generation, very hard in its beginnings and better little by little, with a lot of effort and taking advantage of the opportunities that have been appearing with the economic transformation of the country. At the beginning of the 50s, when I was 10 years old I had to leave my house and go to Madrid to work in a poultry shop to earn a living. After going through several slaughterhouses and farms, I started to develop my own business as a cattle dealer.

The sheep truck

I went and came for all the fairs in Spain to earn a living with the cattle until I met my wife, Cándida, who settled me and provided me with the stability of a home with children. Already with my small farm, in one of my trips to Madrid to sell the cattle, I had a small accident with the sheep that we had in two floors in the back of the truck. At that time, security conditions were almost non-existent in all areas and the truth is that very little happened to us. The fact is that some of the floor fell from top to bottom causing the death of some of them, so I had to stop on the road and bleed those who died so that at least the meat was not lost. I returned home to make repairs in the truck and gave the meat to the neighbors to take advantage of it. Since then, not a day passed without them joking with me telling me to see if I had another accident and brought them another shoulder. From the joke went to the business little by little and we ended up putting a butcher shop in the town to which all the neighbors went.

The village butcher shop

We started making cured sausages and hams to sell them in the butcher shop. At the time, at that time, we used to kill 1 or 2 pigs per week between November and February that we developed with the help of Aunt Luteria or Aunt Eusebia who were not family aunts, at that time we called aunts to all the older ladies as a sign of respect and sweetie. All our hams and cured sausages came from our pigs that were raised in freedom, completely natural, without additives and cured by hand. We like to believe that we continue like this, although now instead of having a production of 100 hams and 100 shoulders a year, we make 5,000.

Iberian artisans

The production and processing required a lot of work, there were no machines for stuffing and the salting, drying and curing of the sausages, ham and shoulders were made in the remains of old houses with wooden roofs, apart from the time of greatest risk to the ham in the post-salted. For this, a warehouse was rented in Guijuelo, renting the space according to the amount of kilos of ham.

At the end of the 90s of the last century and due to the success of the cured sausages’ taste, the time for growth came, however, for us it was very important to continue maintaining the artisan spirit and not lose identity, therefore, at the same time that we invested In infrastructure we made the first draft to lay the foundations and founded the Association of Artisans of the Iberian that requires the associates to control the whole process of making cured sausages, from the raising of the pigs and their development in the field to the completely natural elaboration and without artificial ingredients beyond the minimum required by health, resulting in a unique and top-quality product.

A united family

Aunt Eusebia taught me that anybody can crack a branch, but a bundle of branches together is much more difficult to be cracked and precisely, having made my family is like a bundle of branches is what I feel most proud and fortunate. Having been able to keep my family together in the town and with a common project that everyone participates in taking a different part of the business is my most precious success.

My wife, she is still wearing the village store and is the backbone of the family. Each day brings us all to eat at home and keep us together.

My eldest son Faustino, takes care of everything that has to do with the field and the farm. Looks for suitable farms for breeding, makes sure that ours are perfectly prepared, proposes all certifications and takes care of all maintenance work.

Ana, the second of my children, takes care of the office and private clients. The world of cured sausages is full of regulations to meet, to reach one or another classification and it is Ana who watches because our final product meets all the requirements to be qualified with the highest quality.

Diego is responsible for the factory, its facilities and the curing processes for hams, shoulders and sausages. In addition, it keeps the accounts of all our professional clients.

Miguel Ángel, the youngest of the family, is responsible for the stores and our representative abroad.

My children have grown up with the factory and live it as a much more important project than an economic means of living. They live the business to feel proud of it, to do something special and unique that maintains the traditional way of making cured sausages and hams.

I, at 76 years of age, am still dedicating body and soul. I visit the fields, the farm and the facilities every day. The difference is that now, I do it for love of my livelihood and not as much as obligation to support my family as when I started.

I sincerely hope you enjoy all our hams and Iberian cold meats prepared in a traditional and artisanal way.