Mission:

Our mission is simple: to provide the highest quality products from all over the world and service to our customers at the lowest prices possible. We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell. Our online store is designed to provide you with a safe and secure environment to browse our product catalog.

If you are a commercial customer, we can offer you a discount for orders placed and shipped to your place of business.  Your business license will be required, and orders will be shipped to a commercial address only.  Email us to set up this program. 

Orders & Shipping:

Due to perishable nature of fresh meat, we ship all orders overnight or 2nd day with Dry Ice for an additional charge, but usually less than the extra charge for overnight shipping.  All products are shipped frozen except where noted.   

Orders are shipped Monday thru Wednesday.  Orders require minimum of 2 business days for processing before acknowledgement of order recieved email will be sent to customer.  Please make sure your order takes into account our maximum time of 8 days from original order date to ensure you recieve your order by a certain date.  This ensures that you receive your entire order within the 8 days as various pieces may be coming from different warehouses in different parts of the USA. 

Once your order has been placed, we will ship it to you within 7 days, arriving no later than 8 days after date of order placedment.  If an item is out of stock, contrary to what the website is indicating, we reserve the right to ship the order at our cost when the missing product is back in stock.  If item is permanently out of stock, we will notify you and refund the amount charged for that item. 

Product is shipped frozen, packed with ice packs, in the various forms as we do recycle ice packs as we get them from other vendors.  Dry Ice may be used for larger orders/warmer climates/seasons etc when deemed necessary. 

Due to the heat of summer, orders placed from May through September each year will be shipped overnight only, and have increased dry ice or ice packs included with your order.  Please anticipate increased shipping costs during this time.  Please contact us in advance and we can give you a shipping order based on what you will be ordering and destination. 

Upon Receipt:

How should customer care for product upon receipt?

  • Product should be placed into freezer, even if its thawed slightly, this will not have any adverse effects on the meat (see below for explanation).  If the products cannot be placed in the freezer when they arrive (i.e. sent to work), then kept in shipping box (with ice sheets wrapped around product)in a refrigerator will be fine for a few additional hours, but this is not the best option and should only be used in a last resort. 

 

Storage:

  • Where should the product be stored?
    • In freezer, frozen until it is to be prepared and cooked.
  • How should the product be wrapped for storage?

Kept in its Cryovac’d packaging.  Ice crystals forming on meat is normal.  Quote from Wagshal’s culinary director:

From the beginning of my career I have always

been told to avoid freezing meat. The reasoning is

quite simple, the moisture expands and tears the

flesh, as a result most frozen meat can dry out when

its cooked regardless of how it is thawed. With this in

mind I was skeptical when I first heard the pork is

frozen. After working with it for a few years now I can

very comfortably say that freezing the Iberico de

Bellota has no adverse effects on the meat. I find that

the extremely high marbling and fat content does not

allow for expansion of moisture and of course fat does

not freeze as hard as flesh. This pork cooks as well as

any fresh product I have ever used.”

  • Can the product be refrigerated?
    • Yes, as long as you stick to the guidelines for how long it should be kept refrigerated
  • Is freezing recommended?
    • Ibérico de bellota cuts should arrive frozen to semi-frozen.  If the cuts are not to be used upon reciept, they must be placed back into the freezer immediately upon reciept. 
  • Thawing time and instructions: 
    • Ibérico de bellota can be thawed safely using one of the following methods:
    • In a refrigerator for 24 hours.  Open bag and dispose of purge.  Cooking the raw meat at room temperature will ensure a better result versus cooking it cold.
    • Under running water at less than 70 degrees.  Thawing time will average 20-30 minutes per pound, and we recommend keeping a close eye on it if using this method.  Keep refrigerated until cooking.
  • Can the product be re-frozen, once thawed?
    • It is possible, but not recommended.

CUSTOMER SHELF LIFE: Once the customer receives the product, how long will the product last under the below conditions.

CUT

SHELF LIFE

Refrigerated

Frozen

All Raw Fermin Iberico

Unopened:

5 days

1 year

 

Opened

5 days

1 month

Smoked Panceta

Unopened

Opened

7 days

7 days

1 year

1 month

Name of breed: Ibérico de Bellota

Is this a Heritage breed? Yes

How does the meat compare to standard varieties / or what is available at grocery stores?

  • Ibérico de bellota is renowned for how much it differs from other breeds of pork.
  • Ibérico de bellota is closer in relation to European Wild Iberian Boar than domestic pigs.
  • Every single cut of ibérico de bellota is hand-cut.  There is no mechanized cutting at any point in the process.  This is true old world craftsmanship.  Training takes months and is similar to an apprenticeship before anyone is allowed to take part in the process.
  • Ibérico is the breed of the pig.  The difference in how this pig earns a distinction, the grade of Bellota, is in what it eats: exclusively acorns and other natural grasses that are found in the open-range forests designated by the government.   
  • The Spanish antioxidant-rich acorns that this breed of pig eats are from a native oak tree, found only in select parts of Spain during a specific time during the fall fattening period known as the Montañera.  Ibérico de bellota pork is noted for its high levels of monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid, which gives this pork its trademark nutty flavor (and consequential health benefits).

Is there anything about the color or natural odor of the meat that the customer should be aware of?

  • Ibérico de bellota is deep red in color, similar to beef, and can be a richer crimson as well.  The smell of the raw meat is different as well.  Very rich in the smell of the Dehesa(The dehesa consists of the forests that covered much of Spain in prehistoric times, and now these forests are reduced to government protected meadows where only bellota grade ibérico pigs spend their most of their lives.), you will have a strong “earthy” smell.  Because ibérico is very closely related to Iberian wild boars, the smell can be described as “gamey” as well.  This smell should never be thought of as bad.  If you follow the usage guides, there should be no product concerns.    
  • Because of its wild nature, the meat will differ in appearance and shape when compared with any other breed of pork.  Ibérico de bellota is known for its deep red color of the muscle that is marbled like Japanese Wagyu beef.  The large fat cap should be left on all cuts, never trimmed off any of the cuts.  Another piece of info is that the fat will melt on your finger tips, and will soften at room temp very easily. 
  • Taste this pork with the fat.  This is where you will taste the rich, earthy flavor and experience the special mouth feel unlike anything else you’ve ever tasted.

What aging process was used (dry, wet, etc)? None, ibérico de bellota is flash frozen immediately after slaughter, and maintained at 0 deg Fahrenheit until it is shipped, and will continue to be frozen (depending solely if shipped next day to maintain its frozen status)

SUSTAINABILITY / ANIMAL HUSBANDRY / HARVESTING:

HOW RAISED:

Family Farms / Small Farm?

  • Fermin is well known throughout the world for their unsurpassed standards when it comes to the quality of their ibérico de bellota pigs.
  • Fermin only deals with small family farms, many of which they have been dealing with since Fermin was founded in 1956. 
  • Wagshal’s has personally visited with one of their farmers, Santos, as seen in the video that was uploaded to the FTP site. 

Pasture-raised? 

  • The Dehesas are government protected meadows that contain the native oak trees that give the ibérico de bellota its trademark feature, the acorns (bellota in Spanish)

Other:

  • In order to be classified as pure ibérico de bellota by the Spanish Government, its husbandry has to be a minimum of 75% ibérico breed.  Fermin goes better by required all of its ibérico de bellota pigs be 100% pure breed.  This is documented by methodical Spanish government testing for every bellota season pigs and can be produced upon request.  Especially since the USDA requires such documentation for claims on labels.
  • Fermin also requires that while their pigs are in the dehesa during the montañera, there are no more than 2 pigs per hectare(2.5 acres) to ensure that the ibérico de bellota pigs grow at the proper rate (gaining approximately 1-2 LBS a day), can develop the real flavor of the bellota, and develop proper marbling naturally without extra time consuming commercial feed to artificially enhance ibérico de bellota pigs’ marbling.

Antibiotic-Free: Yes

Hormone-Free: Yes, all natural

GMO-Free: Yes

Is this product organic? No, it’s all natural environment & natural food source has not been controlled.

Please list any other regulating agencies that oversee this product;

USDA

Spanish Government

DIET:

What type of diet are they raised on (grass-fed, grass-fed & grain supplemented, grain-fed, etc.)?

  • Natural foods found only out in the Dehesa (meadows).  The ibérico de bellota pigs are immediately brought out after they are weaned.  When the montañera begins, they consume primarily bellota (acorns) that fall from the native trees in this region of Spain. 

 What type of diet are they finished on (grasses, grain, etc.)?

  • The montañera is the start of the diet ibérico de bellota pigs are “finished” on right up till slaughter.  The time of finish is much longer.  The montañera is approximately 4-5 months, and will be approximately 23% of its life span spent eating primarily acorns.