The "jamón" (ham) is the result of the dry-curing process in salt of the pig’s back leg. Depending on the pick’s breed and diet, the curing time will increase substantially, and the flavor of the resulting ham will vary accordingly. Also, the ham flavors will be different with regard to the parts of the same leg: the "maza" is the softest part, the “contramaza” is the tastiest part and, the nearer we get down to the bone, the more intense flavor we get.
The first step is to get the freshly cut ham into salt, that is all covered by salt. The “expert” (in Spain we call it “the cook”) makes a “V” cut on the top of the hoof’s rind in order to indicate the maximum fat level allowed. Depending on the location of the “v” cut as well as the permitted fat, the resulting ham will have different flavor nuances and salt amount.
Once the previous action is finished, the ham leg will be buried into salt for an average of two weeks (the rule is one day per kilo of fresh meat). Then, according to the type of “jamon” we want to produce, the hoof’s specific characteristics and the flavor that we want to obtain, the ham leg will be hanging in the "secadero", or natural drying area for as long as necessary until it achieves the best quality possible for its consumption.