For the last 59 years, COVAP, the Cooperativa Ganadera del Valle de Los Pedroches, with its headquarters in Pozoblanco, Cordoba, has preserved the most important legacy of its history: the hundred-year old holm oaks of the meadows of Cordoba under which the its 100% Iberian pigs graze. In this unique natural environment, and thanks to the hard work of farmers and the know-how passed down from father to son, mother to daughter, today COVAP produces the highest quality processed meat including its Alta Expresión DO de los Pedroches dry cured acorn-fed 100% Iberian ham. A ham that, for the second year in 2018, has been graced with the Superior Taste Award’s highest honor: three stars-exceptional taste.
Considered the Michelin guide for food products, the Superior Taste Award is a prize given yearly by the International Taste & Quality Institute (iTQi) in Brussels, Belgium that recognizes excellence in quality and taste of foods and beverages. In this last year, its jury, made up of 120 professionals from the 15 most important culinary schools and associations in Europe - including the Académie Culinaire of France, the Federación de Asociaciones de Cocineros of Spain and the Euro Toques association - wanted to recognize and give the award to the unique texture and extraordinary taste of COVAP's Alta Expresión D.O de los Pedroches dry cured acorn-fed 100% Iberian ham, positioning it as one of the best Iberian hams in the world.
GUARANTEED QUALITY FROM THE VERY SOURCE
Founded in 1959 in Pozoblanco, Cordoba, COVAP encompasses 4,500 producers, farmers, and cooperative members joined together in pursuit of a common goal: to offer the highest quality and sustainable products which respect their environment. They have their own herd of 100% Iberian breed pigs recorded in the pedigree books, grazing on acorns from the holm oaks on more than 300,000 hectares, the largest continuous meadow in the world in the northern part of the province of Cordoba.
The facilities, on over 30,000 m2, are among the most modern in Europe and have four natural cellars and a clean room to ensure that the product is handled in perfect conditions of sterilization and temperature. These conditions have allowed the company to obtain the certifications needed to develop its business activity in international markets, and it is one of only two companies from Spain authorized by the USDA to slaughter and cure hams for the American market. Each piece is processed by COVAP’s master ham makers with the care and dedication that a work of art requires, controlling each aroma, the perfect amount of salt, and the optimal curing temperature.
The result is a product with unparalleled texture and taste, a unique culinary treasure with Los Pedroches denomination of origin and that has been recognized with the Superior Taste Award 2016 and 2018 and the “Encina de Oro” (Golden Oak) 2016 prize for the best in dry cured acorn fed 100% Iberico pork ham with Los Pedroches denomination of origin.