The maturation of ham is an essential process for developing its characteristic flavour, aroma and texture. During maturation, the ham is hung in a cool, dry place, where it undergoes a series of controlled biochemical and microbiological changes.
The maturation process can last from a few months to several years, depending on the type of ham and the consumer’s taste. During this time, the ham loses water and fat, which makes it more intense and concentrated in flavour. In addition, the enzymes present in the ham break down proteins and lipids, which improves the texture and smoothness of the product.
Maturation also allows the ham to develop a series of complex aromas and unique flavours, which vary according to the type of ham and the geographical area where it is produced. For example, acorn-fed Iberian ham is matured for a minimum of 36 months, while Gran Reserva ham is matured for a minimum of 9 months.
In short, the maturation of ham is an essential process to achieve the characteristic flavour, aroma and texture of this product. The longer the ham is matured, the more intense and complex its flavour will be, making it a real delicacy for lovers of good ham.