“After traveling to the slaughterhouses when the pigs are at their ideal weight, the best hams will go to market after even more than four years of slow curing”
Perfectly identified, the hind legs of the animal are stacked between layers of sea salt for about a day for each kilo of weight. In these chambers, at a maximum temperature of 5ºC and a relative humidity that can reach 95%, the hams lose water, compacting their meat and favoring its conservation.
Technology has become a crucial tool: From the temperature and humidity at which the hams are cured to compliance with sanitary regulations or the controls of the genetics and feeding of the pigs, although the human factor and the good traditional work can’t be replaced.
Tremendous spectacle to penetrate in the semidarkness of the natural drying rooms, permeable to the pure air of the mountain ranges. While in industrial dryers the technology makes it easy to control these factors, in natural drying rooms everything will depend on the good work of ham masters, who will have to master them with methods such as opening or closing windows, to take advantage of the weather outside.
Aging in the cellar: When the autumn arrives, the hams will go from the dryers to the cellars where, already at cooler and stable temperatures, the aging process ends.