Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jamon Serrano & Jamon Iberico

 There is nothing more serious to the Spanish than their dried cured hams. There are entire stores on every corner dedicated to these meaty wonders. Museums dedicated to this delicacy. There are two types of cured ham; the more common Jamon Serrano & the expensive Jamon Iberico. The difference in the two hams is in the pig itself. The Serrano ham is made from a white pig. The Iberico ham is made from a free range pig that is fed upon acorns. The taste is more intense than the mild Serrano ham. Drying and curing Spanish ham has been in existence since the time of the Romans.

To cure the ham, the meat with bone still in is stacked and then covered in salt. It cures in a cool area for several days to draw out the moisture. After this process that ham is hung to completely dry in a drying shed that is in the cool mountains. Here they sit to cure for anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

To eat the ham the Spanish slice the meat razor thin. The full flavor is gained from doing this. They eat the ham on its own, paired with cheese and fruits, or on a sandwich. It makes a great snack, appetizer or meal.

 In many of the deli shops you can find small paper cones spilling with the ham to be eaten as a street food. Although it is difficult to find this delicacy in the United States there is an importer of the ham La Tienda is a Spanish Catalog devoted to bringing the finest of Spain cuisine right to your doorstep. So next time you are throwing a party or feeling adventurous, give the Spanish Jamon a try!

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