Guijuelo is a type of ham and pork shoulder, which has PDO protection. It is produced in the regions of Castilla-León, Extremadura, Andalucía, and Castilla-La Mancha in Spain. However it is only processed in Guijuelo (from which it takes its name), Ledro, Sotoserrano, Miranda Castañar, Béjar, Candelario, Frades de la Sierra and Tamames in the south-east of the province of Salamanca in Castilla-León.
The hams and shoulders are elongated and stylised in shape, weighing not less than 4.5 kg for hams and 3.5 kg for shoulders. Their internal colour is pink to medium red and they have a shiny appearance with streaks of fat. The flavour is delicate and sweet but not too salty, with a characteristic aroma.
The pigs from which the product is produced are of Iberian stock, with crosses of 75% Iberian/25% Duroc-Jersey being permitted. The hams and shoulders are kept below 30°C for 24 to 48 hours and salting takes one day per kg of meat. They are washed in lukewarm water, trimmed, left to cure and then dried. These processes take 6 months. They are then matured in cellars for a period which depends on their weight.
The natural cork and holm oak parklands of south-eastern Spain are the natural habitat of the Iberian pig, where it feeds on acorns and grass. The climate of the processing area, with cold, dry winters, short summers and mean altitudes over 1000 m above sea level, promotes the curing of these hams.
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