Jamón de Huelva

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Jamón de Huelva

Jamón de Huelva is the name given to protected (DOP) hams and shoulders from Andalusia and Extremadura, which are processed in the northern third of the province of Huelva in Spain.

The hams must weigh not less than 4.5 kg and the shoulders not less than 3.5 kg and have a stylised and streamlined elongated shape. The characteristic colour varies from pink to reddish purple and the cut surface is shiny with veins of fatty tissue and fat infiltrating the muscle. The flavour is delicate, sweet or slightly salty and there is an agreeable and characteristic aroma.

The product come from stock farms registered with the Regulatory Council and situated within the area where the raw material is produced. Pigs of the Iberian breed are used and 75% crosses of this breed with 25% of the Duroc-Jersey breed are also permitted.

The legs are salted for one day per kg of weight and then washed, shaped, streamlined and finished. After salting they are kept for not more than 60 days at a temperature of 3 to 7 C and a relative humidity of 70 % and 90 % before going to the drying room. These initial stages take six months. Subsequently the hams and shoulders are cured in cellars for a maximum of 16 months depending on the weight.

The south-east of Spain is covered by natural areas of holm oaks, cork trees and gall-oaks, forming the natural habitat of the Iberian pig, which feeds on acorns, grass and stubble. The climate of the processing area is characterised by dry prevailing winds, low temperatures and an altitude of 800 metres above sea level. These features assist the curing process.

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