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When buying ham or ham shoulder, we always ask ourselves the same question, which is the best hamIberian ham (jamón ibérico) is a culinary tradition in Spa... More or ham shoulder? And the first thing to bear in mind is that no one is better than the other, but they are different. We are all aware that the main difference between ham and ham shoulder is the price, but it is not the only factor that distinguishes them but the taste or the part of the pigThe pig is a wonderful animal that is part of the famous Med... from which they come are other aspects that must be highlighted.
If you want to buy a good product and this doubt is haunting your head, you no longer have to worry because in Enrique Tomas, as master ham makers that we are, we explain below the differences between ham and ham shoulder so that when you choose them you buy just what you want.
The first thing to bear in mind is the place from which both products are obtained. The pig has two front and two back legs; paletilla (ham shoulder) is how the two front legs are known while jamónThe head of the ham is the front part where the hoof is loca... More is the name given to the two back legs. By their own constitution, the back legs are larger and more fleshy than the front legs, which are thinner. Consequently, there is more meat in the ham than in the ham shoulder, which has a smaller quantity.
When we talk about the performance of the ham and the shoulder we are referring precisely to this, to the amount of meat that can be used in both products. The performance of the shoulder is lower because, although it can also be sliced or cutThe cutting of ham is a skill that requires a lot of dexteri... More into ham shavingsChip is a thin sheet obtained with wood or metalworking tool... and ham cubes, it has more bone and therefore less food is obtained. The ham, on the other hand, has a higher yield and practically everything can be extracted from it.
Another difference between ham and ham shoulder is the curing time required for each product. The proximity to the bone accelerates the curing processWhen we talk about curing in gastronomy we are talking about... and, as the ham shoulder has less meat and is closer to the bone, it is cured before making its time in the cellarThe cellar where the ham is stored is a specially designed a... More shorter. The Gran Reserva hamSerrano ham is considered a premium ham that is at the top o... shoulders need 15 months to be ready while the ham takes 18 months, the Iberian cebo takes 18 months and the ham of this type takes two years, and the iberico bellotaAccording to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, th... ham shoulder takes 24 months while, for its part, the bellota (acornThe sugar from acorns is an important component in the produ... More) ham will spend 36 months curing.
This curing time influences the final price of the product. As the paletas require less time in the cellar, their cost will be lower than that of the ham, which requires greater curing to be at the ideal point to be tasted.
As far as flavour is concerned, it should be borne in mind that as the meat of the ham shoulder is closer to the bone, its taste is more intense, which will make it better suited to those palates accustomed to stronger flavours. However, if you are one of those who prefers curing with a soft touch, it is advisable to buy ham, either the whole piece or sliced.
When we talk about the difference between ham and ham shoulder, of course, we can not ignore something that is obvious: the different size of both pieces. The ham shoulder is smaller than the ham and can reach a maximum of 70 centimetres in length, while the ham usually measures between 70 and 90 centimetres. The weight is also different and, although it depends a lot on the piece, the front legs usually weigh around five kilos while the hind legs reach an average of seven.
Now that we know the basic aspects that distinguish both, let’s see why the price between these products is so different.
Generally, if you ask someone what is better than ham or ham shoulder? He will tell you that the ham because it is often thought that because it is more expensive its qualityThe assessment of the quality of Iberian ham/jamón is based... More is better, but that is not the case. The cost of sale to the public is not determined by the exquisiteness of the products, but by the time it takes to produce them. The ham shoulder requires fewer months to cure than the ham and, therefore, its cost is lower.
As far as the flavour is concerned, the flavour of the ham is not better than that of the ham shoulder, but they are totally different. If you try a sliceIn the premises of Enrique Tomás when someone says the word... of ham shoulder and then try a slice of ham, you will soon be able to differentiate them because the taste of the former one is more intense and powerful than that of the latter, which is softer.
Therefore, neither the ham is better than the ham shoulder, nor the ham shoulder is better than the ham; they are different products that are produced in the same way. Whether you choose to buy ham, or whether you decide to buy a ham shoulder, at Enrique Tomás we assure you one thing, you are going to fall in love with their charms because they are both really delicious!
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