One of the most important moments in the curing process is to know why are the Ham is one of the star products of the Spanish gastronomy, a... hanging?. The purpose thereof is different depending on the stage of curing of the piece of ham. If you want to know why the ham is hung during the production process, here we will explain it for you. You will become an expert!
So, drying is the third stage of the When we talk about curing in gastronomy we are talking about.... It lasts for about six months and takes place when the hams have already been salted and washed. This phase consists of two moments. In the past, this was done in lofts or rooms with windows that were closed or opened depending on the climate or the time of day. They functioned as natural drying sheds. Although in some regions of Spain it is still done this way, nowadays this process is developed mainly in automated spaces.
The first part of drying consists of hanging the ham legs at a temperature of between 6 and 16 degrees and a humidity of between 60 and 80%.
During the second phase the temperature rises a little and has to range between 16 and 30 º C. The humidity is maintained more or less between the same percentages.
Therefore, the aim of drying is to make the hams retain all the aroma. Although they used to be hung by the hoof or cane with ropes, it is now done on so-called aerial hangers. It is important to touch the pieces little. The only thing to do is to control the conditions of light, temperature and humidity, which is currently done automatically. The supervision is much easier and of course the control. The hangers rotate so that all the hams get the same air.
This is the last stage in the production of the ham. The hams are hung in the cellar between six and thirty months. It will take more or less time depending on whether it is a piece of Gran Reserva ham, Iberico de cebo ham or Iberico de Bellota ham.
On this occasion it is necessary to be a little more attentive to each piece of ham. The aim is to ensure that the nuances continue to settle and that each one is cured until it is at the perfect moment. The “cooks”, as we like to call our artisans in Enrique Tomás, supervise each piece and lubricate those areas of the same that could be damaged. By doing this, each ham piece is well protected, obtaining an homogeneous curing.
During this stage, the hams are also hung on the hangers. Yet, unlike the drying stage, they now have to be moved. During these months they can also accumulate mould and this is very good because it will also transmit aromas to the ham!
So why are the hams hung up?. If they are placed in this position it is so that they are well aired and cured accordingly. Only then a delicious delicacy will be obtained! Once all this work is done, the hams will be ready and taken to the shops so that you can buy them and enjoy them at home. As most certainly you have been able to taste this delicact, all this effort has its reward! If not what are you waiting for?!
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