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What is all this ‘fuss’ about Spanish ham? Or as we say ‘Jamon’.

Spanish people consume around 16.000 ton of ham a year and on top of that, loads of different kinds of ham are exported to other countries every year.


Today we will give you a short explanation and of course… we know the best local places to enjoy Jamon!


June Verwijs reports:

In Spanish ham we will find excellent varieties such as the famous jamón serrano made from the dry-cured legs of the white pig and produced in regions like Teruel. But, maybe the finest jamón comes from the area known as the Dehesa, an ecosystem of prairie-like grazing land dotted with encina trees (known as holm oak). These areas we will find in regions as Salamanca, Extremadura, Andalucia and across the border into Portugal.

It is here that you will find the black Iberian pig, snuffling on the dusty ground for sweet acorns (bellota) fallen from the trees. But in Spain, we just call the pigs pata negra because of their famous black hooves.

Jamon is made by dry-curing the leg of a pig. The leg is trimmed and cleaned, and then stacked in a barrel full of salt where it is left for some weeks to. After that, the salt is wiped off and the leg is left to hang and cure. It’s carved off of the bone in thin slices and served alongside other cured meats, small pieces of bread, cheeses and walnuts.

The quality of the jamón depends on several factors. The most important is the quality of the animal from which it comes and the type of feeding it has followed. Then it will be the time and method of curing followed by each master jamón producer that will give it that special touch that will make its taste softer and more intense.


A ham of any variety is the result of many months of work and care by as well the farmer as the master ham producer (cutting, salting, washing, curing, pre-curing and curing).


In Valencia, there’s nothing quite as important as ham. It’s almost bigger than religion. And religion is big


Would you like to enjoy a nice wine, jamon and of course… the Valencian sun? We know the typical local bars, the hidden gems and the must see small tapas locations. Today we ‘highlight’ one gem: Central Bar. For sure not a bar which nobody is familiar with. Why: because it is located in the middle of the Central Market of Valencia and owned by passionate (three times) Michelin chef Richard Camarena.


When you are on holidays: what is more special than shopping your local fresh product on the market, followed by some nice tapas in the middle of the market. Central Bar exclusively uses products from the famous market where it is located.


And… Don’t forget the wine to accomplish your tapas. It’s not even 12.00 o'clock yet? Who said it has to be… When it is about wine and good tapas?!


Enjoy Valencian life!


Picture: June Verwijs





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