We are now going to focus on the physical-chemical and organoleptic characteristics innate and fundamental to the Certification of Serrano ham.

Serrano Ham is the first Spanish product to be recognised as a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed.

• “ante-mortem”: genetic selection, feed, environmental conditions and welfare of the animal before its slaughter.

• “post-mortem”: cutting of the carcass, refrigeration process and transport of the hams, salting and curing process…

All of these factors are vital in a more or less direct way in the colour, aroma, flavour, texture… of Serrano Ham.

Physical-Chemical Characteristics

The fat, shiny, unctuous, a yellowish white colour, aromatic and with a pleasant taste. The consistency will vary slightly, firmer in the muscular mass and slightly yielding in adipose tissue areas.

The drying index, is the maximum aqueous content in relation to the fat-free product, with an average of 57% in relation to the homogenisation of a 15mm (± 2 mm.) rindless cross section of the ham, taken at 4 centimetres from the femur head, and a maximum humidity gradient between the outside and the centre of 12%.

The salinity, expressed by a maximum content of sodium chloride of 15%, in relation to a dry and fat-free extract, analysed on the same sample as the previous apparatus.

Organoleptic characteristics

The colouring and aspect of the cut; the characteristic colour goes from red to purplish red in the lean part and has a shiny look in the fatty part. Homogenous to the cut. Not dried out externally (on the cut section).

The flavour and aroma; the meat has a delicate flavour, lightly salted and with a characteristic and pleasant aroma, without any kind of anomalous smell or flavour. Expert tasters are able to distinguish hams not only by their variety, but also depending on the muscles; although in Serrano hams the influence of the muscle on the final sensory characteristics is not as great as on Iberian hams.

The texture, homogenous, lightly fibrous and without chewiness or softness.