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April 24, 2024
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The Spanish part of “Food Abroad” : The making of the world’s most expensive ham

Spanish ham is world famous, can be said to be the “quintessence” of Spanish food culture. Let’s go to Spain to find out how the expensive ham is made.The world’s most expensive ham, Iberico, has gone on sale in the UK, weighing 7kg and costing £1,800. The hams were sold at Selfridge in London’s Oxford Street department store, each with a genetic certificate to prove its authenticity.The production process is far from simple, with 50 pigs carefully selected by ham experts and pig farmers and then put on a Spanish ranch, where they are fed special diets to make the ham taste different.

The butcher butchered fifty pigs, cut off their legs and salted them for three years before releasing them in wooden boxes. A spokesman for Selfridge said the ham, which melts in your mouth and is delicious, was expensive but well worth the effort and time it took to make it.

Spanish ham is not complicated to make, it is mainly cured, but cutting it does require a certain amount of work. There are ham cutters in Spain who not only need a certain amount of talent, but also four or five years of professional training.

In Spain, a ham chef is as good as a cook. One ham chef has been cutting ham for 16 years in his hometown of Andalusia, the birthplace of Spain’s ham.

He says ham chefs typically spend a year in school learning basic theory before they can practice. Theoretical courses mainly understand the growth of pig bones and muscles. Because of the different breeds of pigs, the composition of muscles and bones is not the same, so the knife must be found out after the breed.

The darker the pig, the better.

Ham makers say the ham is only as good as the raw material: the pig. The best ham pig, made by the Spanish from wild boar and domestic pig, is black, and the darker the better. In addition, pig breeding is also a university question.

To make ham, the pigs must be raised in the wild. The pigs like to eat a kind of fruit called Peiyao. Pigs that eat this fruit have white fat and almost zero cholesterol. The pigs used for curing ham use only the hind legs, which usually need to be cured for eight to 36 months, the longer the curing time, the stronger the flavor.

Cutting knife can be said to be an important tool of ham division, senior chef generally equipped with seven or eight. What kind of pig, what part of the meat, what time of the meat, the knife is different, if you do not carefully check in advance, cut off or cut the meat, then the exam will have to deduct a lot of points, or even fail.

Traditionally, the prosciutto cuts the ham into the thinest possible slices, taking into account the size of the cross-section, without cutting off or creating holes in the middle. This trick may seem easy to master, but it’s a different story.

The ham cutter goes around like a star.

Such a senior master, not fixed in a hotel work, but in the hotel. When he comes out to cut ham, the organizer will introduce him specially, and then ask him to perform.

He begins by telling the guest the breed of pig he will be cutting the ham from, the age it was slaughtered and the year it was cured. Then he cuts them out with his hands, and guests pick out a few pieces at random, and then compare the sizes. When guests confirm that they are almost the same size, the scene often erupts into enthusiastic applause.

After watching his performance, the guests were in high spirits and their appetites increased. He described the Hautzier as a Spanish national treasure, comparable to Real Madrid’s Raul, only Raul uses his feet and they use their hands.

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