The history of the Geographical Idication of Trevélez ham dates back to 1862 when it won a national food competition and Queen Isabel II granted the village of Trevélez permission to stamp the royal crest on its packaging.
Its reputation comes from its salting and curing process, which is traditional and unique. The meat is covered in sea salt for several days using 1 kilogram of salt per kilogram of ham. It is then washed and hung up to air during the three coldest months of the year. The curing process begins during the hot season. The meat becomes impregnated with its own fat. Around six months later it is time for ageing, the last stage in the process. This is done during the autumn and winter months. The result is an exquisite product that is less salty, thanks to the natural way it is cured and the presence of the microbiotic flora at certain altitudes.
To obtain the quality certificate, the ham may only come from certain breeds of pigs namely Landrace, Large-White, Duroc-Jersey pigs and crosses of those breeds. The ham must be cured naturally at a specific altitude (over 1200 metres), at a given temperature and with certain moisture levels. The villages covered by this certification are Trevélez, Juviles, Busquístar, Pórtugos, La Tahá, Bubión, Capileira and Bérchules.
Eugenia de Montijo presented this ham to the French court, where it was soon included in the royal menus.