At Enrique Tomás, we believe that the best ham doesn't have to be the most expensive, but the one you like the most. True to our principles, our first recommendation is to follow your instinct and choose the flavor that excites you the most.
Still, if you're not sure and don't know much about it, in this post, we'll help you choose which ham is the best for you.
Choose the Best Ham According to Your Needs
By Type of Piece: Ham or Shoulder
If your idea is to buy the whole ham, one of the first questions that might arise is whether to get ham or shoulder. Some people prefer one over the other, but what you need to know is that both are of the highest quality. As for their differences, the first thing to consider is that ham comes from the hind leg of the pig, while the shoulder comes from the front leg. This results in differences in size, flavor, and ease of carving.
The ham is larger than the shoulder, and because the shoulder is smaller, it tends to have a more intense flavor due to the meat being closer to the bone. In terms of ease of carving, the ham is easier to handle due to the larger amount of meat and its anatomy.
So, what should determine your choice in this case? Nothing more and nothing less than your taste or your needs.
Paleta de cebo de campo 50% ibérica - Selección
By Format: Whole or Sliced
In Spain, it's very common to see a good ham leg in any home's kitchen, displayed and ready to be carved. There's nothing better than enjoying freshly carved ham. But be careful! If we don't handle it properly or if it's going to take a long time to consume, our experience with the piece might not be as positive as we expect.
Some differences between the whole piece or sliced are:
- Consumption Time: While the whole piece should be consumed in approximately 15 to 21 days, sliced portions can last up to 6 months or more in the fridge.
- Space: Depending on the space you have in your kitchen, one option might be more appealing. Sliced packs hardly take up any space, while the whole piece needs to be placed on a ham holder on a kitchen surface.
- Number of Diners: The number of people in your household matters when choosing ham. To ensure the quality of the ham piece, it should be carved daily, and as we mentioned, consumed within a maximum of about 21 days. Sliced ham packs offer the freedom to consume them over a much longer period (minimum of 6 months), without the need to consume ham daily. Still, keep in mind that the opened packs should be refrigerated, and if not consumed immediately, they should be returned to the refrigerator and preferably consumed within the next 48 hours.
We'll tell you all about the advantages of the sliced format so you can choose the ideal format for you.
The Finest Quality Ham
At Enrique Tomás, we offer different types of ham or shoulder that are classified according to quality standards and differentiated by the number of stars we assign to them. What does this classification depend on? Nothing more and nothing less than the breed of the pig, the diet it received, and the aging time of each piece.
On one hand, we need to start by distinguishing between Serrano and Ibérico ham. The main difference lies in the breed; Serrano ham comes from non-Ibérico white pigs, while Ibérico ham comes from the Ibérico breed, unique to the Iberian Peninsula.
Within the Ibérico category, differences can also be found, especially related to the purity of the pig's breed and its diet. Based on these factors, the aging time of each piece will vary, ultimately affecting its category. Discover the types of ham and their characteristics.
100% Ibérico Acorn-Fed Ham
Setting personal preferences aside and speaking in terms of product exclusivity, years of artisanal craftsmanship, daily care, dedication, exquisite flavor, and gastronomic pleasure, we realize that we are facing a culinary masterpiece deserving of the tribute it receives.
The 100% Ibérico Acorn-Fed Ham is unparalleled in the world, due to its breed, diet, and the curing process by the master ham maker. If this ham comes from a purebred Ibérico pig, meaning both parents are 100% Ibérico, we're dealing with a piece of spectacular quality. The animal it comes from has grazed in the Spanish Dehesa (Mediterranean forests full of holm oak trees and natural water) during the last 4 months of its adult life, where it only consumed acorns and various wild plants, exercised extensively, and developed well-muscled limbs.
This ham is cured in natural cellars by expert ham makers following a millennial tradition that has been refined through experience and new technologies while preserving its artisanal and traditional basis. Furthermore, the aging process takes over 36 months.
The Best Ibérico Ham in the World
In summary, if you're wondering what the best Ibérico ham in the world is, we'll tell you that it's the one your palate enjoys the most. Nevertheless, there's no doubt that the 100% Ibérico Acorn-Fed Ham is a gastronomic piece of unparalleled value. It's a pure culinary art that several people have dedicated years to nurture and care for, until it has reached an ideal curing point and an excellence in quality.
Finally, we want to emphasize that choosing the best ham also depends on the occasion and how you intend to use it. It's not the same to buy it to add to your everyday recipes as it is to savor it in perfect slices or to include it in a sandwich. Lastly, we leave you with an explanatory video that summarizes everything we've discussed.