Hump Day: Jamón Carrasco, Iberian Hams from Guijuelo, Spain

This edition of Hump Day is brought to you by the letter 'J' (pronounced ho-tah):

wandering black foot
squandering the year's acorns
as you grew and grew, gluttony ensued
I ponder if you felt the weight on your ham hocks

when you're salted, hung and dry, we shall eat you
albeit 3 years we must abide 
not too soft, not too dry
carnal, animal, feral
Guijuelo, Salamantino, goes well with a barrel of Spanish wine 

Lots of umami await us! Jamón Carrasco; Guijuelo, Salamanca, Spain. 

Just about as fine as you can get. Iberian ham (jamón ibérico) should be of a healthy color, with about 15-20% of marbled fat - which will shine and is moist to the touch - as well as melt in your mouth quantities, i.e. not too chewy; beef jerky texture is an unbecoming quality. 

An expert ham slicer, known as cortador de jamón, has to be trained in the most effective way to cut the ham leg; precisely cutting the fat and slicing thin whispery lonchas

I view cured ham a bit like pistachios, meaning that even though they look similar on the outside, there are always a minority of rotten ones in the bag that make your mouth pucker up. En fin, not all hams are created equal. It helps to have an understanding of the brands, have a couple that you can count on, or that come recommended by friends. Also, if you're going to be investing in a 150 euro/kilo product, don't be afraid to taste the ham before ordering - a good shop will allow you this. 

More information at CarrascoGuijuelo

Are you also a bona fide Spanish ham lover? Read more here, and please like Sobremesa In Spain on Facebook for more discussions and food shenanigans. 


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