Ham is the star of Spanish gourmet products and one of the most coveted in the world. When we speak of ham, we actually refer to a particular product: cured ham.
For many years it was prohibited abroad for its peculiar way of preparation: the dry curing of hams was not understood, and the ham was described as “raw dry meat” and therefore liable to be corrupted or be damaging to health.
Today, however, thanks to advances in health control and hygiene in the preparation, has been able to demonstrate that the curing process of ham makes a biologically healthy product and, therefore, suitable for both consumption and for being distributed and transported over long distances without risk to health.
But the number of terms related to the ham (5 jotas, Iberian ham, pata negra, Serrano ham, reserve …) conduces us to get us lost in the names and do not know for sure what we are eating. So let’s try to clarify article by article, and immerse ourselves in the exciting world of ham and, incidentally, of pork sausages.
Want to discover the ham with us? Start with a gentle introduction:
Ham is the hind leg of pork, salted and dried naturally. The salting process is performed by smearing the outside of the leg with salt, which also helps to protect the leg during cure. As the foot dries (so-called “cure” or “cured”) the fat will drip and with it the excess of salt, until the leg is dry and suitable for consumption.
Should not be confused with the ham palette, paleta, paletilla or shoulder, which is made from the front legs or arms. They are, smaller and fibrous than ham. For the rest, the process is the same.
Also keep in mind that there are a number of products related to cured ham but we do not really consider them alike, such as cooked ham (commonly known as York ham), smoked ham and Galician lacon.
Ham production in Spain is not unique. Keep in mind Portuguese ham, some even with Designation of Origin, and the Italian Prosciutto, the major competitor internationally speaking. But there are also similar ham products (cured), in France, Germany, Romania, Czech Republic and even in China.
Gradually we will teach you the different types of ham, the different denominations of origin and different cure systems, but now let’s eat! Shall we serve some? At Uvinum you can buy now some of the best hams in the world:
Iberian, bellota (acorn) and DO, the 3 keys which together guarantee the best ham.
Un nuevo concepto de jamón, curado con una cobertura de pistachos que le da un sabor muy diferente a todos los demás.