How to choose the best iberian ham?
Here you will find some more points to keep in mind when choosing a iberian ham in order to make the best choice.
As we said in the previous post, the first and most important thing is to know how long it will take us to consume the piece approximately. It is not the same to buy a ham to be consumed in the same day (the curing must be perfect for all its parts) that if it is going to be consumed in one month (the thinnest and driest part called “babilla” or “contramaza” must have an optimal curing because that is where we are going to start the ham. If the wide part, known as “maza”, is a little tender, we do not have to worry because on the days when we cut the “babilla”, it will finish curing.
- The “Caña” must be thin
- Mistaken “Pata negra”
- Weight and output
- Visual aspect and texture of fat
- “Bellota” (acorn-fed), “cebo” or “cebo de campo”
On the previous post we talked about the first three points, so let’s continue:
4. Visual appearance and texture of the fat
The fat concentrated on the side of the piece (“jarrete” and “babilla”) must be shiny and fluid.
When we run our finger along this area, it should slide without encountering any resistance.
If we try to introduce the finger in this part, we should be able to do it, but not deeply, because if that happens then the piece will have more fat than it should.
The presence of fat is normal, but in the right measure. The shoulder always contains a higher proportion of fat than the ham.
5. “bellota” (acorn-fed), “cebo” or “cebo de campo”
The lower part (tip), where the piece was separated from the animal, is irregular and yellowish. If we run our thumb along this area without too much pressure and we observe that it sinks relatively easily leaving a deep mark, that will show us that the ham could be “Bellota” (acorn-fed). Since in the pieces of “cebo de campo” and “cebo” the fats are harder and less flexible, the finger will not leave the same type of mark.
We hope you find it useful!