How Much Does The Average Newborn Weight At Born Weeks Delicious Spanish Ham – Iberian Ham: Types and Production

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Delicious Spanish Ham – Iberian Ham: Types and Production

In addition to the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. Iberian ham has been produced and eaten in Spain since Roman times. Although the tools, techniques and climate have changed over the centuries, the same basic principles apply to the production of Iberian Ham today as they did hundreds of years ago. This is an explanation of the production process.

Of course, dry cured ham is not unique. France, Italy and Germany, to name a few, each have their own versions. But the Iberian Ham is undoubtedly the King of the Castle. From the inexpensive Jamón Serrano to the superior Pata Negra and Jamón de Bellota, there is no comparison anywhere in the world. It ranks first in taste, smell and texture and is appreciated not only in Spain, where the Spaniards spend almost five kilos a year, but all over the world its fans are growing.

The production of Spanish Iberian Ham is a long and carefully managed process and is subject to food quality control standards. In the early nineties, the type of ham known as Jamón Serrano achieved the status of Denomination of Origin, which is represented by a ham-shaped ‘s’ symbol. Of course, there are many producers of hams throughout Spain and it would be wise to buy from producers who can demonstrate their compliance with the strict protocols related to the production of hams. Extremadura in the south-west of Spain is the region where the highest quality Pata Negra and Jamón de Bellota are found. Also at the top of the Sierra Nevada, in the area known as Las Alpujarras the best Jamón Serrano is found. Trevélez is the place. Big hama and big trout in the most recognized municipality in Spain (1486m).

Different Hams

Jamón Serrano.

Which makes up 90% of the total production and comes from white pigs such as Duroc, Landrace, Large White and Pietrain. Generally, these products are given in grain products and the curing process takes about 7 to 16 months.

Jamón Iberico or Pata Negra and Jamón de Bellota

Making up ten percent of the production, these products are of higher quality and very useful. Jamón Iberico comes from the Iberian Pig which is found in Extremadura and southwest Spain. There are some differences in the Iberico family: first, we have Jamón de Bellota, which is the most sought after and comes from pigs fed only on grass and acorns; the pig fed on a mixture of grass, acorns and grain is called Jamón de Recebo and finally we have Jamón de Cebo, fed on grass and grain.

Production

Once the slaughtered pigs are cleaned, they are cut into different parts and the long-term curing process can begin.

First, the pieces are covered with salt and stored in a special place that maintains a constant temperature between 0ºC and 5ºC and a humidity level between 70% to 90%. The salting period can vary depending on the weight of the ham but does not last longer than two weeks. The purpose of salting is to remove excess moisture and preserve the meat.

The hams are washed and hung for 45 days to ensure the elimination of residual moisture and even distribution of salt within the ham.

The next step in the curing process is to transfer the ham to a drying room that is specially designed to let in the right light. In these areas, the temperature and humidity are also kept under certain conditions by the natural ventilation process that opens and closes the windows. This is an important step in the healing process when the hams begin to emit a distinctive smell and the fat spreads to the muscle tissue for six to nine months. It is very important to gradually increase the temperature of the hams to facilitate processing.

Finally, it reaches the stage of maturity where the hams are hung to dry in a storage room between 15ºC and 20ºC and a humidity of 60% to 80%. This last step is when the ham gets its unique flavor and texture.

Once approved by Bodega’s inspectors, the ham is ready to be marketed and sold. It takes about 3 to 4 years to produce a quality Iberian Ham from the birth of the pig to the final test and subsequent sale. Enjoy!

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