Iberian ham is that delicious delicacy typical of the Iberian Peninsula, carefully cured for at least 18 months to achieve its unparalleled flavor. But, do you know everything about it? Let's find out!
Surely these 9 myths about ham will surprise you!
1. You DON'T have to cover it with its own fat
Let's start by debunking this. You've probably heard at some point that "it's best to cover the ham with its own fat." ERROR! If you do that and the fat becomes rancid, it will affect the flavor of the cured ham.
Since you surely don't want this to happen, the best thing you can do is cover it with a clean cloth that doesn't shed lint. It will stay in good condition this way.
2. You DON'T have to eat it cold
Many people have the habit of slicing ham, putting it on a plate, covering it with plastic wrap, and storing it in the fridge! Again, ERROR! The cured ham is at its best at room temperature, so slice, plate, and serve. If you've bought it pre-sliced, take it out of the refrigerator in advance, and as soon as you see the slices naturally separate from each other, your ham will be ready.
3. The left leg is better than the right one, and ham is better than shoulder
Let's address this. First, the idea that the left leg is better than the right is related to the belief that pigs sleep more on one side than the other, and therefore, the left side develops better. But do you always sleep in the same position? Well, pigs don't either.
Regarding the shoulder, as ham is more expensive, people tend to associate this with its quality. However, a higher price doesn't necessarily mean better quality; it just means that curing it requires more work. Some will tell you they prefer the shoulder, while others prefer the ham.
Their taste is different, and to each their own!
4. Iberian ham pairs only with red wine
Contrary to popular belief, Iberian ham pairs better with white wine than red, but what matters is how you like it! Since white wine is more sparkling and has a milder taste, it doesn't mask the flavor of the Iberian ham; it actually enhances it! The same goes for cava or beer, and if you pair them with some Spanish breadsticks on top...
You're in for a treat!
5. Iberian ham is "pata negra"
No, to call Iberian ham "pata negra," you'd have to paint it. In any case, what's black is the hoof, and not all Iberian pigs have black hooves. There can be white pigs with dark hooves and Iberian pigs with white hooves.
It's all relative.
6. You have to store it in the kitchen
Well, as the song goes, it depends. If your kitchen gets a lot of sunlight or is very small, it's better not to store it there because the moment you turn on the oven, the heat will affect your ham. It's not good for hams to be near heat sources, so in these cases, it's best to store it in the pantry or, if available, in the gallery.
7. Once the meat is removed, you can discard the bone
This is also incorrect. First, are you sure you've removed all the possible meat? If you have, keep in mind that you can still use the bone to prepare different recipes, such as stew.
But if you think it still has some meat, and you can't slice it any further, bring it to Enrique Tomás! We'll take care of extracting all the remaining meat, whether you bought it at one of our stores or not.
Once we've removed the meat, we'll prepare it in vacuum-sealed packs that you'll only need to open and enjoy.
8. You have to place it in the ham holder with the hoof up
Yes and no. In bars and restaurants, it's placed this way because it's finished quickly, and they serve the tenderest meat first. But it doesn't have to be this way. If you're going to slice and plate it at home, there will be occasions when it's better to place it upside down to start slicing from the other side. It depends on how many people you are, whether you eat ham every day, and so on.
9. Small children cannot eat ham
This popular belief is also incorrect. Ham, as long as it's not abused, is good for everyone. Obviously, a baby can't eat ham, but once children start eating solid foods, they can enjoy Iberian ham or whatever they like.
However, you need to watch them closely and give it to them in small portions. They are children, and you need to keep a close eye on them.
Did you know all of this?
We've debunked these myths about ham for you. As the saying goes, "you won't go to bed without learning something new."