Ham is one of the most representative products of the Spanish gastronomy. It is present in the kitchen of any restaurant and in most Spanish larders, and it cannot be missed in family dinners as well as in most celebrations. However, what do you know about ham? We will tell you some curiosities:
- It must be consumed at room temperature, never cold. The ideal temperature is about 24º, so if you have a vacuum-pack in the fridge, it is better to take it out of it an hour before eating.
- If you have just cut it, do not wait too much time to eat it. Ideally, you should consume ham about 10 minutes after cutting it so that the fat oxygenates, otherwise it dries up and salt appears.
- Is it better left leg ham or right leg ham? Many people think it left leg ham is better but experts say it is a myth.
- Female ham is better. This is another myth since male pigs which have been reared to produce ham are castrated so that hormones do not have an influence on the ham fibers’ development.
- It is better to serve ham on a white dish. This is just because of aesthetics; white color stands out the color of the ham and makes it more appealing. When you serve it on a slate dish, which are very fashionable at the moment, the fat sticks on it and it remains transparent so it seems black.
- Do not cover it directly with a white cloth! It is very common to do it and it is not correct. It is ideal to cover it with its own rind so that it is in contact with its own fat and it does not oxidize. If we leave it for too long, it is possible that it oxidizes and the flavor may become rancid. In that case, we will have to clean it before eating it again. Another option is to cover it with film to isolate it from air and to avoid oxidation, and then, you should place a cloth over the film to protect it from light.
- What does the color of the seal mean? If is pure Iberian ham, it will have a black seal; if it is not 100% pure, it will have a red seal. In the case of field bait’s pigs, the seal will be green, and if it is farm bait’s pig the seal will be white.
- It is not a good idea to leave it in the kitchen because many odors are generated there and it is often hot; it would be better to keep it in the larder.
- If you don’t know how to cut it, you can go to a butchery and ask for help from a professional who can cut and vacuum-pack it in 100 g or 250 g packages.
- Do not throw the bones away! You can use them to prepare soup.
- Combine ham with wine. There is no need to do it, you can eat it with whatever you want, but experts recommend combining it with white wine or champagne because it cleans the palate and allows you to taste ham again.
- Slices or dices? It is ideal to eat it as thin, small and almost transparent slices so that they can be eaten in one mouthful; although there are some parts of the ham that cannot be cut into slices, so it is better to do it into dices.
- Not every knife is appropriated; experts recommend using up to 12 different knives to cut ham. If you use a ham knife for everything, you will damage the edge when removing the rind and it wouldn’t be good to cut the slices.
An ideal product to accompany ham is the cheese, of which we told you some curiosities of the cheese on the previous article.
In La Gourmeta we offer you Iberian hams and cured meats of a Premium quality such as Gran Reserva Iberian Bellota Ham Casalba or Iberian Bellota Ham DO Guijuelo. Take a look at our hams selection and enjoy the star product of the Spanish gastronomy.