New customers often ask us what to do with a poorly cured ham, how to cure a raw ham at home or how to tell if a ham is well cured. And we always tell them the same thing: a poorly cured jamón is not a jamón, or at least, it is a poor quality jamón.
If you have unfortunately been involved in this situation, you should know that this type of jamón should never get into the hands of consumers, which is why we always recommend returning it and exchanging it for a new one.
But that’s something you won’t have to worry about if you finally decide to buy it from Enrique Tomás, as all our products are rigorously checked before they reach your hands.
As we mentioned, if your intention is to fix a poorly cured ham, the answer is very clear: it cannot be fixed.
A ham is not like a Fuet is a typical sausage from the region of Catalonia in Sp..., that if it is too tender you let it dry in the pantry. This comparison causes a lot of confusion, but a ham needs a specific temperature and a series of cares from the first phase of the process until it reaches the store.
If the ham is not cured enough, it may be of poor quality or simply not ready to be marketed. At Enrique Tomás, we do not sell our Ham is one of the star products of the Spanish gastronomy, a... until they are perfectly cured. There are people who prefer them less cured and others very cured, this is a matter of taste, but without a doubt every ham seller must be very clear when a ham is ready to be sold to the public.
At Enrique Tomás, we have a triple quality control that ensures that a ham is at its ideal When we talk about curing in gastronomy we are talking about... point before it goes on sale. However, it is not an exact science, nor is anything infallible, so if by mistake a ham that has not been cured reaches the customer, our seal of total guarantee comes into play and we change it as soon as our customer notices. We try not to let this happen, but if it does, our customers, both in the physical shop and online, can be completely reassured.
Curing is a mechanical salting process carried out by a master ham maker. That said, never try to cure a jamón at home. You should get in touch with the seller.
This whole process is carried out by means of containers that are automatically turned over to make it easier to turn them over. Depending on this process of salting and drying, the pieces will get one or another flavor.
In addition, the ham is cured in stages. Let’s see them in detail:
1) The first one consists of putting the legs ready: they are cut, peeled, cleaned, left to rest and massaged to eliminate the remains of blood (this is done through specialized machines).
2) In the second one, the pieces are buried in salt to reinforce their flavour and avoid the action of bacteria. It will be a more or less long process depending on the pieces and the taste you want to give them, but it is usually around twelve hours per kilo.
3) Then comes a stage of about six months, in which the legs are hung in the dryers so that the fat infiltrates the muscle fibres for a while (between three or four months), and then the temperature is raised, varying slightly the percentage of humidity.
4. Finally, the maturing or ageing stage arrives, during which it is necessary to ensure that the ham is cured as evenly as possible by greasing the pig’s hind legs with lard (between six and thirty months).
Knowing the importance of curing the ham, it is normal that many customers ask us how to know if a ham is badly or well cured.
But the truth is that in order to know that the ham is just right, you have to carry out a process of “calado” (fretwork), pricking the ham in three different areas. If the smell is a little unpleasant when the cove is removed, it means that the ham has not been cured properly.
At Enrique Tomás we guarantee that a ham that has not been cured properly will never enter our shops. Remember that this information applies to you whether you are buying an Iberian ham or a shoulder. Here are some of our customers’ favourite products:
So what, you’d like to try a well-cured, top-quality jamón? You can stop by one of our physical stores or buy Iberian Jamón on our online website and we’ll bring it home to you free of charge for orders above 150 euros international!
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