Serrano Ham is a type of cured ham that is exclusively made in the province of Serón through a process that includes a period of natural drying and maturing process that lasts at least 12 months. This ham has an elongated shape, and it is traditionally cut in a “V.” You can get it with or without the skin, and it usually comes with the foot attached to the leg. This type of ham is produced from the breeds Duroc, Large White, Landrace, Blanco Belga, Pietrain, and Chato and their crosses.
This ham comes in two types: Ham of the 16th Century, which is 7 kg (15.4 lbs.) at least in weight and cured for 16 months at the most; and the Ham of the 20th Century, which is cured for 20 months at the most.
The result is a bright red ham with a sweet flavor (that is slightly salty) and an intense aroma. Its fat is bright, aromatic, and it has a smooth flavor. This ham characteristically has a lower salt content because of its little time spent curing in salt, which is thanks to the traditional curing methods in Serón. The chilly climate and the low humidity of this region are what makes this ham so delicious.
The curing of ham for consumption was introduced to Serón in the 16th century through the reconquest of Granada and Almería of the Catholic rulers. In the following years, the practice of curing ham and sausages became a standard practice in the region, and in general, in the Valle del Amanzora. In 1750, it is said that people would talk about the economy for food in the Valle del Almanzora region at the time, of which Serón was a part, and it was said to be the most important production region for this type of food in Spain. Industrial production didn’t reach this area until the 19th century because its climate was already perfect for producing its main form of economic support.
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