Here is a selection of common questions that we are frequently asked. If you have any unanswered questions, please contact us by email (Info@jamon.co.uk) or telephone 07498 498933 (Between 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday)
Jamón (pronounced hah-mon) is the Spanish word for ham but usually refers to dry-cured ham produced within the Iberian Peninsula - a mountainous region that cuts across Spain and into Portugal. Jamon is rightly considered as one of the finest gourmet delicacies in the world and a flagship of Spanish cuisine.
Traditionally, Jamon is made by naturally dry-curing ham in a Secadero (Drying house) which are usually located within the mountainous regions of Spain and Portugal. The process appears very simple (you only need meat, salt, air and time) but actually requires a great deal of skill and patience. We have created a simple guide which walks you through the key steps here.
We source our ham directly from producers in Spain. We only work with producers that we know, have visited and can trust. As such, we can personally vouch for the quality of their products, ingredients and the production methods they use.
Choosing a ham is a very personal experience like choosing a bottle of wine and there are several variables to consider. No one-size fits all and to help guide you through this process, we have created a series of useful articles within the Knowledge section of the website and produced a buyers guide.
Naturally produced Jamon contains lots of healthy unsaturated fats, protein and minerals and can be eaten as part of a healthy Mediterranean diet. The health risks which are usually associated with red meat comes from the industrial use of Nitrates and Nitrates which are considered carcinogenic. All of our meat products are guaranteed free from such chemical additives and preservatives and are 100% natural.
Unfortunately not, Spanish ham exports are increasingly dominated by large producers that rely on modern techniques where Jamon is artificially dried and chemical additives such as Nitrites and Nitrates are widely used. In fact, if you buy a Jamon that does not explicitly state that it is additive-free, it is likely to contain a range of preservatives, colourants and even flavour enhancers.
We only work with producers who use traditional production methods to dry cure meat. These traditional methods have been perfected over generations and require strict hygiene standards and a longer maturation period to deliver a 100% natural product. The modern practices that have been introduced such as chemical additives, artificial driers and dyes are completely unnecessary and are simply a shortcut to maximise profit.
The ham should be stored at room temperature (ideally between 18०c and 22०c) in a dry, well-ventilated room, away from direct sunlight. We do not recommend storing ham in the fridge. However, if you do, allow the meat to reach room temperature before consuming.
If you have bought a boneless piece or sliced ham, it is recommended to keep the meat inside the packaging to avoid it becoming too dry. This can be stored in the fridge but should be consumed at room temperature.
If you have purchased a whole leg or shoulder, you will need a sturdy holder and a special Jamonero knife to properly slice and serve the meat. We have a selection available here and also offer a discounted starter set to get you on your way.
The ability to hand-slice a ham is not only a great life skill, but getting started is a lot easier than you may think. We have produced a simple guide which walks you through the basics and with a little practice (and some patience), this should set you well on your way to becoming a Maestro Cortador!
Ideally within four weeks from first cutting. This is the optimal time to prevent the ham from drying out and for the meat to be succulent and tasty.
Once exposed to air, a bluish-white mould may appear on the surface of the rind. This is completely normal and is part of the natural maturing process. This mould can be wiped off using olive oil and a cloth and does not affect the quality of the product.
Yes, it is normal for hams and particularly shoulders to have a healthy portion of fat - usually between 40% and 50% by weight. These fats have several beneficial health properties and are essential to the flavour and texture of the ham. Whilst some of this fat can be trimmed, we recommend that each slice of meat served has a small edging of fat to supplement the flavour.
The outer rind of the ham is bitter and should be removed before slicing and serving. If you do not clean the ham as described in the cutting guide, it is possible that the bitterness of the rind could transfer onto the ham and affect the taste. We recommend that you cut away the rind and outer fat and if the flavour issue persists, please contact us to discuss.
This is nothing to be alarmed about - this is completely normal and does not affect the quality of the product. As the meat slowly loses water, tiny white crystals can form from amino acids within the muscle. This is very much part of the natural process and is more common in meat that has been cured over a longer period.