Step-by-step Guide To Jamón Ibérico in Spain

Ultimate Guide to Jamón Ibérico in Spain

You walk into a bar. As you order your drink, you notice, that propped on the counter to your right, is a hoof.  That hoof is attached to a rather large piece of ham.  You watch as the bartender carefully shaves thin slices of ruby-red meat and places them side-by-side on a plate.  You order your round of drinks and ask for a plate of Jamón Ibérico and Pan con Tomate.  You’re in heaven now, and the place you’ve landed in is the Iberian Peninsula. This is your guide to Jamon Iberico or jamon serrano. This is Spanish ham and it is the best!

If you know anything about food from Spain, you know that they are obsessed with one thing: dry-cured ham.  There is no bar, no restaurant or no self-respecting home which does not have a shoulder (paleta) or ham (Jamón) to offer guests.  In North America, we often think of cured ham as Proscuitto but in Spain, it is called Jamón Iberico and it is spectacular. 

As with a fine wine or a delectable cheese, in order to cure the perfect morsel, you need time.  Plenty of time. Cured meat and ham are not unique to Spain, you will find some versions of cured ham throughout Europe. Italian cuisine has the glorious prosciutto, France its jambon de Bayonne and Portugal has presunto ibérico.

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