Salting means any action involving the application of salt t... is the second stage in the When we talk about curing in gastronomy we are talking about... of the ham and takes place when the ham legs have already been washed. This phase consists of burying the pieces in salt to partially dehydrate them, enhance their flavour and prevent the action of bacteria. So, how are the Ham is one of the star products of the Spanish gastronomy, a... salted? How long does this stage last? If you want to know everything, pay attention, in Enrique Tomás we explain it in detail!
What is the salting process?
As we have already mentioned, salting is the second stage of the curing process and takes place when the pieces have already been cleaned. However, in every area of Spain it is done one way. Before salting begins, the piece is usually cut in a V shape so that the salt penetrates better. Each master ham maker has his own way of doing this, depending on the intensity of salt he wants to give his hams and the curing time he wants for his pieces.
The “cooks”, as we like to call our master artisans in Enrique Tomás, put the hams into containers and bury them in salt. Depending on the amount of salt they use and the time they leave the hams therein, the pieces will have one flavour or another. The master artisans have all the information about each of the legs and know exactly what taste they want to give them. The time and amount of salt are the two variables with which they play to get the salt they want.
The rest of the process
As far as the duration is concerned, it should be noted that it depends on the pieces and the chef’s taste. The more days the pieces are buried, the more salty they will be. The average is one day per kilo, i.e. if a piece weighs 14 kg, it will be buried for 14 days.
It should also be borne in mind that the salting process does not consist of putting the legs in the containers and that’s it. In addition, during all these days the Iberian ham is supervised by the master ham makers. Once finished, the hams are removed and washed with warm water to eliminate the salt adhered. The mineral that is of interest for the hams is the one inside the pieces, the rest is left over.
After this, the hams are moulded, shaped and refined because, as the hams have been stacked on top of each other, they have lost their shape. They must be returned to their original state. Then comes the post-salting.
What is postsalting?
This stage comes just before starting the next phase, drying. At this point, the objective is to achieve the homogeneous distribution of salt inside the pieces and lasts between 40 and 60 days. The hams are hung at a low temperature, between 0 and 6 degrees, with a humidity of 80-90%.
The pieces lose water and acquire a greater internal consistency. Once this time has elapsed, they can move on to the next stage: drying. Drying and maturing are the last stages of the curing process and, once finished, the pieces will be ready to be marketed.
Now you know how the hams are salted and, as you can see, at Enrique Tomás we are always aware of them. We make sure that all the pieces we sell have passed the triple Q for quality and we just want to give you the best! If you want to buy the best quality ham, don’t give it any more thought, the best cured ham is in our stores!