Discover the history of ham and its cultural heritage. Throughout time – including the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages – ham has been a luxury product. Pork and Serrano ham characterise Spain, both traditionally and in today’s world. As ambassadors for Spanish culture, they abound in our culture and society.
The history of ham
Ham curing phases
The process of curing a ham is one of the most important phases, since its quality is determined by the amount of salt and the salting period. The exhaustive quality and traceability controls we undertake, as well as the application of advanced Incarlopsa technologies, ensure the quality of all the cured pieces and all of its processes.
Ham must comply with certain essential innate physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics to be certified. So its fat consistency, curing index and salinity are all analysed. These factors will determine its colour, aroma, taste and texture, while ensuring a high-quality final product.
Ham designations of origin
One of ham’s most distinctive characteristics is its denominación de origen (designation of origin, or DO). The fat the product contains enables us to differentiate the pig’s breed. At Incarlopsa we work with white pigs. The Serrano Ham DO is not limited to a specific zone though it is regulated by minimum quality requirements.
Cured ham is among the most classic products in south-west Europe. Independently of its mode of presentation or sale, Serrano ham must always be produced from controlled pieces that comply with hygiene and health as well as quality control measures established pursuant to current legislation.
How to carve ham
Carving ham is an art. Carving it in the optimum way allows us to conduct a tasting in which we can appreciate all its aromas and tastes. One must likewise bear in mind the supreme importance of conserving the piece of ham suitably, to ensure the best resourcing and enjoyment of the product. We tell you how to do this here.
The Iberian pig
A multitude of pig breeds exist, but the Iberian is the one native to the Iberian peninsula. This breed, adapted to its meadow ecosystem, offers three degrees of quality depending on how it is fed and raised. Though traditionally they are known as pata negra (black trotter), this is not an ideal name since varieties of Iberian pig exist that are not black.