My recent trip to Barcelona made me realise just how much food is part of the spanish culture. It’s almost as if the day resolves around meal time and each meal is as important as the next! Every second building is a cafe/restaurant. One of the most important exports of Spain and probably what they are most proud of is Jamon or ham as its known to us.
We were lucky enough to get private lesson and tasting on the different types of Spanish jamon (with two free glasses of bubbly thrown in 🙂 ). It was so interesting to learn the whole process and made me appreciate the price of Iberico ham as so much time and effort goes into each piece of ham, from feeding the pigs so they gain an exact weight, the long curing stages to the perfect carving of the leg once it is ready.
Black iberian pigs are used to produce the special and most expensive Iberico ham while white pigs are used to produce the cheaper serrano ham. The iberian pigs are fed on acorns and its the oils from these acorns which gives the Iberico ham its superior taste.
Other cured hams you may be familiar with are parma and prosciutto. These are both Italian hams. If you’ve never tried cured hams give it a go. Apparently its also much healthier and better for your heart compared to the ham we eat on a daily basis. Serrano ham is lovely and also cheap but if you wanted to splash out look for Iberico Bellota which is the best quality. My favourite is Guijuelo Bellota.