Serrano ham is part of Spain’s history and identity. It is one of the essential elements of Spanish gastronomy and is the most consumed cured ham by Spanish families at home. We tell you what you need to know before buying Serrano ham.
What is Serrano ham?
Serrano ham is a foodstuff , which is obtained naturally by salting and air-drying the hind legs of white domestic pigs. The name of Serrano ham comes from the place where the curing process takes place, in the Sierras, the Spanish mountains, which have the perfect temperature and humidity conditions that the ham needs to mature.
Properties of Serrano ham
Serrano ham is a source of proteins, minerals and vitamins essential for human beings. It has a balanced fat and calorie content and is therefore suitable for any diet. It is also rich in calcium and iron, which helps prevent osteoporosis and the onset of anemia. It contains fatty acids that help fight bad cholesterol and protect the cardiovascular system.
What is the best Serrano ham?
The quality of Serrano ham depends to a large extent on its curing process and is more valued when the ham is cured for a long time in natural drying sheds:
- Serrano Bodega: hams cured between 10 and 12 months.
- Serrano Reserva: hams cured between 12 and 15 months.
- Serrano Gran Reserva: hams cured for more than 15 months.
Serrano ham vs. Parma ham
The Prociutto or Italian ham, is a typical Italian product that is similar to the Spanish Serrano ham. Both hams come from the white pig, but the taste is different, the Parma ham is sweeter and more moist than the Serrano, the latter has a more intense flavor. This is due to the salt used in curing. Moist salt is used in Italy and sea salt in Spain.