22 July 2011

Inside Serrano Ham

Choosing a Serrano ham can be somewhat of a time consuming process, which is the right Spanish ham to buy? How long will it last? What will it taste like? There are also some differences between the various grades such a milder and younger 'bodega' jamones and an older more intensely flavoured 'gran reserva'. In most cases price will reflect how long the ham has been cured for and it is also worth noting that some Spanish curing houses regard any ham cured for over 16 months as a gran reserva where as a top of the range gran reserva will have been hanging for upwards of 20 months - the differences are quite telling. In a nutshell it is simply a case of you get what you pay for...

We are not talking about Iberico hams here, a different product altogether and a whole other aspect of Spanish gastronomy, leaving the Iberico ham to one side the humble Serrano ham can still deliver plenty and in some cases more depending on your taste buds, a good Serrano will also make less of a dent in your wallet... So, tapas for Summer then and which ham to choose?

Spanish Serrano Ham
There are various hams available, do get one though that has been tested - a process that involves puncturing the ham with a long thin bone and then smelt for its aroma, in the hands of the expert this will determine a good ham or perhaps one that needs another month or so left hanging to mature just a little bit more. Buying direct from Spain may take longer for your ham to be delivered but you will at least be safe in the knowledge that your ham should have come directly from the environment in which it has been curing for many months earlier.

For flavour, food pairings, tapas suggestions and further information why not pay a visit to the ham pages on our Spanish deli where you will find each grade of ham with concise and informative information detailing everything from curing times, care, gastromic notes, origin and other useful information all designed to make your buying process that much more informed.

See inside the ham...
You can also 'see' inside each Serrano ham with photographs of the ham cut and served and/or curing in its natural environment. A marathon ham tasting task has been taking place over the past few months as well as many visits to Spanish curing houses. We hope you find the information useful.


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