Ibérico, more than a ham

by Marta

Spanish Jamón Ibérico is more than a ham. Besides being a symbol of this country, it is quality and it is a sign of things well done. Iberian ham is tradition. Its taste has nothing to do with the one you find in other hams, neither with the one in other Spanish hams such as serrano ham.

Some other countries have tried to get their own Iberian ham. China has been the last one trying and it is true that their prices are very good however… their products are lights years away from the original. The aroma, the taste, the looks… they are not comparable at all. And the reason for it is that in order to obtain a good Iberian ham you need to put together a lot of things and without all those conditions you don?t get the same result. It is impossible, as happens with wines.

That?s why the high quality of Iberian ham and its consideration as a luxury good, it is not coincidental, but hard work.

This work begins when the pig is born and grows. First, we have to be sure that the animal is a black Iberian pig (?pata negra?). There can be no doubt: mixtures are not worth it (cross bred pigs no, please). Don?t risk your satisfaction going for an almost, just go for the real thing. Once we know we are dealing with a certified Iberian race, the animal cannot be stabled if we want to obtain good acorn hams. They have to do the ?montanera?.

?Montanera? means pig breeding free range. Every day, pigs look for their sustenance and it means that they ingest large amounts of acorns daily, which give Iberian hams a unique (and delicious, breathtaking, addictive) taste. Among acorns they often eat truffles they find in their path. That means even better taste for our Iberian ham.

When pig gets slaughtered, hams should not be stored in cold stores. If they are kept in cold stores then they cannot get a 100% done. They have to get cured with the air of the mountains. This will make them sweat out their own fat for three or four years while they are hanging. At this time, each day they must be turned a quarter turn so that all sides get cured the same.

This slow and laborious process that gets the fat out slowly makes its flavor permeate the entire ham. But if the process is too fast, if cold stores are used or if the ham is cured in a different way than the original, then the ham loses 80% of its flavor. And that would be a shame.

Up on the table, Iberian ham can be recognized by its aroma, which calls us and invites us to taste it. A look to the marbling, and to the fat that is slowly melting before our eyes, do the rest. And for a perfect moment: nothing beats a good Spanish wine to go together with Iberian ham, the ideal matching.

 TAGS:Sliced Jamon Iberico Bellota 1 Kg.Sliced Jamon Iberico Bellota 1 Kg.

Sliced Jamon Iberico Bellota 1 Kg

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Jamón Bellota 1Kg. Hand sliced

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