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What is the Spanish jamon?

dry-cured ham, Traditional for this country, can be seen practically in any Spanish bar. Directly to a ceiling pork gammons are suspended an impressive look, and one of them started is usually fixed in the special machine on a bar counter. It is also jamon (jamon).

The full name of this delicacy - jamon iberiko (jamon iberico), that is, ham Iberian ; for its production grow up special Iberian breed of pigs. However, for experts this breed is subdivided into several versions (we will tell, happens Iberian bald and Iberian hairy ) but to the consumer of delicious jamon such details already to anything.

Breed these pigs in quite big territory in the southern and central part of Spain - from the province Huelva where nearly the most known centers of production of jamon - the city of Habugo and Arasen are located, and to the province Salamanca where in the city of Gikhuelo not less known Joselito jamon ripens. To the West from this territory there is Portugal, its border areas are famous for the vetchina too, and immemorial ispano - the Portuguese dispute on that whose pigs (and hamona) it is better, will never be complete.

An acorn - to all the head usually a little mysterious look - it is possible

At an Iberian pig, because, that her hanging-down ears cover eyes. And still it has rather long legs and strong black hoofs - pata negra, so is called also one of the best kinds of the Spanish jamon.

A diet at these pigs too special, as well as in general a way of life; they eat acorns on a free pasture on woody sublime plateaus where dry air, the cold winter and not really hot summer, and the rarefied oak landings with extensive green lawns remind modern city parks. Pigs who eat acorns of a pith oak give the best jamon; everyone needs about 8 - 10 kilograms of such food daily. Acorns are very important not only for pleasure of the mumps, but also for quality of future jamon. Acorns provide that set of tastes in which the best samples of the Spanish jamon differ. It is remarkable that oleic acid in acorns approximately as much, as in those grades of the Spanish olives of which do the best olive oil. That is in some sense pigs keep too to that Mediterranean diet which is considered exclusively fashionable and healthy recently. Not incidentally producers with pride mention in the name of the product the word bellota - acorn for example, Iberico de Bellota.

It is curious that Iberian pigs eat only an acorn core, and skorlupk are spat out. By the way, one of the factors limiting production of high-quality jamon - quantity of oaks with the correct acorns. On average it is considered that one hectare of pastures has to fall on one mumps. If to increase quantity of pigs, quality of jamon will fall. Besides acorns these animals absorb many wild aromatic herbs which impact a unique smell and relish to the final product.

Pastures are arranged so that pigs were on the run all the time - for example, ran on a watering place and back in search of food. At such mode the bulk of fat which at them is laid on a nape gradually filters down and penetrates brawny, fleshy parts of ink. Quality of future jamon not least is defined by quantity and quality of this fat.

By one and a half years correctly fattened Iberian pig weighs about 160 kilograms. After cutting of ink on a gammon slaughter under future jamon put in sea salt for term at the rate of 1 day on 1 kg of weight, that is, for about two weeks. All this time they lie in special containers or just stacks in the certain room at a temperature from 0 to 8 degrees Celsius. It is considered that the best salt for jamon happens only in two places - in vicinities of Alicante at east coast of Spain and near Cadiz in the West. Some producers add to coarse crystal salt also a little usual dining room of a fine crushing in salt thickness there were no peculiar air pockets, and meat prosalivatsya more evenly.

The salted gammons wash out, dry and suspend for few years in special cellars with reliable natural ventilation. During this time gammon strongly dries out and loses flesh, there are about 7 - 8 kg. From time to time skilled experts control degree of readiness of jamon on its smell, for this purpose they in certain points pierce a meat surface a special bone needle and smell it. Wholesale buyers quite often should wait for the order of year 2 - 3 or even more; the jamon ripening in cellars is actually already sold, plates with instructions of owners hang everywhere. At desire it is possible to admire the property which did not ripen yet. As a rule, large regular customers order future jamon from even grazed or even yet not been born pigs then it is necessary to wait for one and a half years put on their sagination, and two more years on aging actually of jamon.

To cut thinly

needs to Store ready jamon at the normal room temperature, not in the refrigerator. Optimum temperature of consumption - about 20 degrees Celsius, at it all its aromas and tastes reveal fully. It is necessary to cut off exactly so much at once to eat then it is better to cover a cut with a grease layer - that did not dry. For convenient cutting of jamon there is a special device - a hamoner (jamonera) which fixes heavy and inconvenient gammon in two points. Correctly, that is it is very thin, it is possible to knife Iberian jamon only special of special steel - narrow, long and very sharp. At competent cutting the thinnest layers of meat of jamon have to melt in the mouth as a good melon.

Jamon surely enters a set of typically Spanish snack which is called tapas (tapas), they are offered in the small portions in each bar and restaurant. This meat delicacy remarkably goes without any garnishes and additions unless with olives and a dry sherry. It is characteristic that Spaniards practically never put jamon plates on bread, preferring to enjoy it in the natural form, and often take it just hands, despite of environment semi-official organ level - it with equal success can be popular city bar, stylish restaurant or a diplomatic reception. Jamon sandwich usually gives the foreigner.

Most often this ham is used as cold appetizer; a combination, very popular in traditional Spanish cuisine, - jamon with a melon. But also culinary application of this delicacy is very various: with jamon fry omelets, stew it with mushrooms and seafood, add to salads. Such additive gives to food not just pleasant meat spirit and an additional sytnost, but also unique nut smack in which the real jamon iberico differs. At last, from hamonny bones remarkable soup turns out.

Strangely enough it sounds in relation to meat, the Spanish jamon can be considered nearly as a dietary food product: it is perfectly acquired by our organism, and fats correct there, and acids, and for warmly - vascular system it is good so in a sense small, but regular portions of jamon can be considered as a useful diet.