What is jamon serrano?

What is jamon serrano? It’s a  cured spanish ham , one of the most famous spanish product with the iberian Pata Negra ham.

There are almost 2,000 producers of Serrano ham in Spain. Eighteen of these producers formed the Consorcio de Jamón Serrano Español in 1990. The name Jamón Serrano is now controlled by the European Union since the year 2000 and it protects the processing of this product, although it does not apply to a specific region. Look for the label that has an “S” in the shape of a ham, and says SERRANO ESPAÑOL if you want to buy Jamón Serrano from the consortium. The mountain or Serrano ham is made from several different breeds of white pigs, such as Duroc, Landrace or Large White. They are fed mainly cereals and cured from 7 to 16 months.

Jamón Serrano is a product that is deeply rooted within the history of Spain, and is considered an essential part of Spanish culture. The Celts considered the pig to be a cult object, and it was the main sustenance of their nutritional diet. In the 2nd Century BC, during the Roman Empire, the first references in writing appear related to salting and preserving pork meat. A traditional method of curing pork was developed over the centuries, making the best of the advantages that the cold and dry mountain air offered (mountain range, sierra in Spanish), creating this exceptional product that we now know as Jamón Serrano.

Jamón Serrano is a product that is rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins. It has become one of the basic foods of the Mediterranean diet.

Besides Teruel, other areas are well-known for their excellent serrano ham (jamon serrano):

- Trevelez (a small village in the Sierra Nevada) which is located in the highest peak in Spain.
- Soria province in the region of Castilla-Leon.
- Girona province in the region of Cataluña.

 

How is it produced?

In order to prepare the Jamón Serrano, the following is necessary: quality raw materials, fresh ham that complies with the origin specifications and techniques (weights, fat content level …)

The process starts with the microbial STABILITY of the fresh ham by use of low temperature and high humidity. Once this is established, we move on to the following steps:

1 – SALTING and POSTSALTING.- The main aim of this step is to add the sea salt in the fresh piece of ham, to promote dehydration and preservation.

2 – DRY-CURING AND MATURATION.- The temperature is gradually raised, and at the same time, the humidity is reduced, therefore achieving a natural fusion from the fats, obtaining an even distribution of the fats throughout the muscle tissue, developing the sensory characteristics (color, aroma and taste) specific to Jamón Serrano.

3 – AGEING.- Final step involved in the curing process. This is when the maturing of the cured ham reaches an end. It is done very slowly, until turning this exceptional product into what we know as Jamón Serrano.

4 – SELECTION.- Once the Jamón Serrano is ready to be marketed, a specialized team of food inspectors from the Consorcio del Jamón Serrano Español selects one by one the Jamón Serrano that includes all the requirements established in our quality regulations, due to its configuration and organoleptic characteristics.

5 – SEALED.- All Jamón Serrano that have satisfactorily exceeded the selection process are sealed and identified with the Consorcio Serrano Seal of Approval.

 

From: Consorcioserrano.com

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