At Enrique Tomás we love to talk about Iberian ham/ Jamón ibérico, but more than that, what we like is to share everything we have learned over the years, from our experience, from our retailers and, above all, from our own customers.
Therefore, we have decided to group together the most frequently asked questions about Jamón Ibérico and we have created a list to help you answering all your doubts at once.
What Jamón/ham should I buy as a gift?
If you are looking for a good Jamón/ham to give as a gift and you like to surprise, give the one you like the most, not the one that costs the most. At Enrique Tomás, we believe that the best Jamón is not the most expensive but the one you enjoy the most, because each person's taste is different.
If you are undecided, a Pata Negra Jamón/ham will always be a good gift, but we prefer to recommend buying Jamón in other formats that allow you to try all its varieties, such as any of our tasting boxes which are perfect to wow someone you love or you want to impress.
Visit our original gifts section to find the perfect gift.
Is the fat in ham good?
When we talk about the fat in Iberian ham, we think of the external fat, but the good, healthy fat is infiltrated in the form of veins within each slice. It is thanks to this fat that the slice has such a characteristic shine, adding flavor and juiciness to the Jamón. In addition, this fat has fantastic nutritional properties for our health. In the Enrique Tomás Ham Blog, we talk a lot about it, so don't hesitate to visit any of these blogposts to find out more details on this subject:
External fat of the Jamón
Is Jamón/ham fattening?
There are some myths about Jamón and the implications of including it in our regular diet. It is perceived as a product which you should not eat if you follow a healthy diet, but the truth is that it has very beneficial properties for our health.
Iberian ham can complete our dishes with healthy fats and proteins. It also provides us with micronutrients such as B vitamins, minerals such as iron and zinc. If you want to know more about the false myth that Iberian ham is fattening, we talk about it in more detail in our blog.
How do you slice a whole leg?
There are certain techniques and some tips that can help you get the best performance out of your ham, so here at Enrique Tomás we leave you some tips on how to cut a Jamón. Yet, if you are not sure how to do it, we always recommend buying jamón ready sliced by our experts.
What is the best Jamón/ham?
There are different types of hams! You should to try them and decide for yourself, there are different qualities and categories that give a particular taste to each Jamón. The most important thing is that whatever you choose, you are satisfied and wanting more.
Remember our saying, “The best Jamón is not the most expensive but the one you like the most”. If you don't even know where to start, in Enrique Tomás we will help you in our online customer service chat to clarify your doubts and help you get the most suitable Jamón for you.
What should I buy, shoulder (Paleta) or ham/Jamón?
The basic difference between shoulder and ham is that the shoulder corresponds to the front leg of the pig, while the ham is the hind leg. For anatomical reasons, the shoulder is smaller, lighter and more stylized than the ham. In turn, the ham is bulkier, wider and rounder.
For reasons of size, the curing time will generally be shorter for the shoulder than for the ham. To learn more, visit our blog and discover the differences between Jamón/ham and Paleta/shoulder.
Paleta 4 estrellas Premium Enrique Tomás
How is Jamón best preserved?
It is important to keep it in cool, dry places, away from heat sources. Depending on its condition, it is recommended to preserve it in one way or another.
Solve all your questions about Iberian ham in our blog:
- If you have a whole piece and you haven't started it yet: Keeping a ham at home without starting it.
- If you have a whole piece started: How to preserve the ham
- If you have vacuum-packed sliced envelopes: How to preserve sliced ham
How do I keep the properties of the Jamón/ham once it has been sliced?
If you have bought a whole bon-in leg, it is important to cut some slices at least once a day, from the part that has already been opened. You should also cover it with a lint-free cloth so that the Jamón/ham is not exposed to light and is as little exposed to the air as possible.
We never recommend covering the open part with its own fat, since the Jamón on top undergoes a "sponge effect" changing the flavor, worsening its oxygenation and aroma. Take a look at all the recommendations for preserving a ham when slicing on the Enrique Tomás blog.
Where do you start cutting the Jamón/ham?
The ham should be started by placing the hoof downwards, since the part we will begin to cut is the most cured, and therefore we give the wider parts time to cure a little more.
In any case, everything will depend on the use you make of the leg and the amount of ham you plan to cut daily. If you want to know how to cut open a ham and get the most out of it, visit our blog.
Is it better to cut the Jamón/ham with a slicing machine or with a knife?
If you are going to eat it on the spot, it is undoubtedly better to cut it with a knife, as long as the person cutting it has mastered the technique and has the right sllicing tools.
However, the difference between machine-sliced ham and knife-sliced ham is almost imperceptible. Although it is true that hand-sliced Iberian ham gains in freshness, nuances and quality, if the ham is good quality, it does not matter how it is sliced.
This question about Iberian ham is more common than it seems, but machines do not damage the flavor of the ham, although as we explain in the book "Jamón for Dummies", “we should not underestimate the importance of rituals, because in that hand cutting and in that precise moment, there is already a visual joy and the palate is already watering and getting ready for the enjoyment that will follow”
However, we always recommend that if you have not mastered the slicing technique, or if you have a little skill to do it, it is better to let our experts cut it, so that you will not only gain in flavor and texture with the perfect slice, but also in greater yield from your piece. Buying sliced ham at Enrique Tomás is a guarantee of quality and quantity.
How long does a ham last?
In the case of an unstarted ham, the length of time will depend on the climatic conditions of each region and storage (temperature, humidity level, etc.).
A ham can last at least three months while retaining its optimum quality. But these perfect conditions can only be achieved in a drying room designed for this purpose with an expert care. Therefore, once we have it at our homes, it is ready for consumption and it is advisable not to wait too long before eating if we don’t want to dry out too much and loose its delicious aromas and flavours
On the other hand, once the ham is already open, sliced, the time will be decided according to the weight. A 7kg ham should last about sixteen days in summer while in winter it could be longer. In the case of a 4.5 kg shoulder, it should last about ten days in summer and fifteen in winter.
In any case, we recommend consuming it as soon as possible after opening, and remember that it is important to cut the leg every day to keep it in good condition!
Is boneless or bone-in ham better?
If the ham has gone through the complete production process as it should, including bone and every part of it, it doesn't matter whether it is boned or sliced with a knife.
We always recommend to buy it boneless for those customers who have a slicing machine at home and want to have it fresh sliced by their hand but much easier than with a knife. In any case, the important thing is that the piece has been cured bone-in, since the bone adds flavor and properties to the ham. When it comes time to take it home, think about the most convenient way for you and your family to consume it.
What is the best pairing with Jamón/ham?
We can talk a lot about this subject. According to many experts, the best pairing for ham is Cava. However, there are different types of pairing and different tastes! So if you are a beer lover, Jamón/ham will surely be the perfect companion.
At Enrique Tomás, we have elaborated our perfect pairing with red wine and white wine, wines made exclusively for us that combine perfectly with Jamón/ham.
- With what wine to accompany the Iberian ham
- Jamón Ibérico and beer pairing. You will love it!
- Benefits of red wine Why drink wine?
Now you know which are the most popular questions about Jamón Ibérico and their answers! If you still have any doubts and think you need more information, our team will be happy to help you.
To do so, you can visit our website and contact our Customer Service chat or, if you prefer, go to any of our stores and ask any of our staff about your doubts.