During Christmas, ham takes on a significant role in Spain. Although it's a product present in our kitchens or pantries throughout the year, during the Christmas holidays, it becomes one of the essential items on every table. Moreover, it's one of the most common gifts, both within the family and in the workplace.
In this post, we will tell you about the significance of ham during Christmas and why eating or gifting ham during this time has become an undeniable tradition in Spain.
The origin of the tradition of ham during Christmas
The tradition of eating ham during Christmas goes way back. The origins of this celebration can be traced back to the Romans, centuries ago. Obviously, the ancient reason wasn't Christmas; it wasn't perceived the same way as it is now. However, what has endured, as many historians detail, is the manner of celebrating it at a festive table. Christmas festivities have always entailed moments of gathering with loved ones, extraordinary celebrations, abundance, and lavish meals. This is also connected to a staple food for both the poor and the wealthy, based on curing meats with salt to preserve them naturally and make them consumable throughout the year.
In fact, it's believed that the tradition of eating ham during Christmas has a pagan or mythological origin that comes from the Germanic tradition. They used to offer a wild boar to the god of fertility each year to seek prosperity in the New Year. To preserve the boar's meat for longer, they cured it with salt, which resulted in ham that was consumed during these times.
Additionally, given that Christmas is the most important holiday for Christians, the Catholic Church is also connected to the origin of the tradition of gifting ham. Consumption of ham and pork products signified true conversion to Christianity, and during these significant times, they were used to demonstrate belief and symbolize abundance and celebration.
However it originated, it's clear that enjoying ham during Christmas is a tradition deeply rooted in Spain, passed down from generation to generation. As you already know, the Iberian Peninsula is the native land of the most gourmet Iberian products.
Ham in Family Christmas Celebrations
In every Christmas celebration, you can find a plate of ham on the table. Just as turrón is the quintessential dessert of Christmas in Spain, Iberian ham becomes one of the most famous and desirable appetizers or starters during this time. It's often accompanied by Iberian sausages such as Iberian loin or Iberian chorizo, as well as seafood like salted shrimp or various types of canapés.
But why is it so common to eat it in practically every Spanish household during these times? Clearly, Iberian ham is a typical and native product of our country. It perfectly fits any celebration due to being a gourmet product of top quality and exquisite flavor. However, it's also essential to note that it's one of the most unique gifts for Christmas.
Ham as a Gift during Christmas
The practice of gifting ham during Christmas has become a classic for many people who want to surprise and delight their family members, friends, or colleagues with something practical, delicious, and unique.
It's a gourmet gastronomic gift that delights or brings joy to those who receive it. Consequently, it's becoming increasingly common for companies to include ham in their Christmas hampers or baskets, whether in the form of a whole leg or sliced.
Furthermore, for friends or family members, gifting ham is a great choice, as it allows everyone to enjoy ham together during these significant times, along with good wine or cava.
Lote jamón Gran Reserva
How to Choose the Best Ham for Christmas?
Whether for personal consumption or gifting, at Enrique Tomás, we believe there's no single best ham for everyone. The best one is the one you personally enjoy the most. True to our principles , our first recommendation is to buy or gift the ham that you like the most. Follow your instincts and share the flavor that excites you.
Explore all our options for businesses if you're interested in gifting ham in Christmas hampers or baskets. Contact us, and we'll advise you so you can choose something that will be a hit among your employees.
For individuals, if you decide to gift ham this Christmas, you can also check out our online store for customized baskets, hampers, packs, and countless options to create a personalized gift that will bring a smile to your family member, friend, or loved one. You can also get in touch with us, and we'll guide you throughout the process.
Gifting ham and having it at home for Christmas is more accessible than ever with Enrique Tomás.