Cecina -Meat is a type of meat similar to ham in its production process. However, unlike the ham that is made with pork, this is made with beef. The taste of this product is very characteristic, this is mainly due to the smoking process with oak and oak wood to which the meat is subjected and also by curing in salt. Its texture is not very fibrous and it is always presented in slices.
What exactly is cecina?
According to the dictionary of the Real Academia Española, cecina is a salty meat, thin and dried in the air, in the sun or in smoke. If we go a little deeper into this concept, we can say that this type of dehydrated meat is of Spanish origin. Its similarity to ham has to do with the curing process to which the meat is subjected, in this case beef. In fact, cecina is popularly known as cow ham. Although it is also found of equine meat and less frequently, of goat and even of rabbit, donkey, ox or hare.
Types of cecina
Within this whole range, the most famous and the only ones recognised as Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) are the cecina de León, made with cow meat, and the cecina de León and Vegacervera, made with goat meat. The Villarramiel of equine meat is also very well known and finally, that of bovine of Toro of the province of Zamora.
As with the history of the ham, we do not know exactly when cecina was first consumed or marketed. What we do know is that this product was born out of the need to preserve the meat. Smoking and drying meat is one of the oldest ways of preservation. An inheritance that we have acquired from those times where not only could not waste anything, but also had to devise a way to feed both in winter and summer. Cecina is a product full of tradition that has been produced for thousands of years.
As a curious fact we tell you that apart from the Spanish cecina, in Mexico a type of cow ham is also made but in this case, the pre-cut meat is dried in the sun with salt and lemon, and then wrapped in a kind of roll.