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Eating Free Blog

24

AUG

2011

The Best Ham: Jamon Serrano

by Manuel Villacorta

I was just visiting beautiful Spain and I realized I had forgotten about Jamon Serrano. Every morning I was there I enjoyed a Jamon Serrano, cheese and baguette sandwich … what a delicatessen! Now I am back in the states, and yes I am happy to be back to my oatmeal and flaxseed, but oh how I miss you Jamon Serrano!

Throughout Spain Jamon Serrano can be found hanging from shop windows and at local markets. Jamon Serrano, or mountain ham, is a dried cured Spanish ham. It is absolutely delicious and great in many dishes. It is generally served raw in thin slices, or occasionally diced. It pairs wonderfully with melon, figs, cheese, olives, arugula and countless other items. It is also divine when eaten alone.

Jamon Serrano is prepared in a traditional and old world manner. Fresh hams are covered with salt for roughly two weeks in order to draw out excess moisture and prevent spoilage. The hams are then washed free of the salt, and hung to dry for about 6 months. Finally, the hams are hung in a cool, dry place for 6-18 months. It is a timely process, however when you bite into it you will understand why good things come with time. When it comes to Jamon Serrano time yields something that will pleasure your taste buds like never before.

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