French: jambon sec
To enjoy a dry-cured ham is also to appreciate the know-how required to produce a European charcuterie of such quality. While they’ve all been rubbed with salt multiple times, the maturation time varies depending on the type of ham. Thanks to different salting techniques, pig breeds and diets, the drying process and the option of smoking the meat, this charcuterie category offers many flavour possibilities, each one as enticing as the next.
Dry ham is made from the back leg of a pig (at least 8.5 kg for superior dry ham). It is the various salting techniques that give each ham its particular flavor and color.
In France, it is rubbed with salt and then undergoes a drying/maturation that varies in length:
- superior dry ham (at least 210 days)
- dry ham (at least 130 days)
- raw ham.
A few examples:
> Ardennes ham
> Auvergne ham
Dry ham from the Auvergne is made from selected young pork legs, seasoned and moderately salted and slowly dried. These round hams are dry salted and aged for at least 7 months. The maturation process, that varies according to weight, allows the flavors to develop.
> Jambon Serrano
Pork loin, salt, spices, sugars. Even diameter, even red color with a regular vein of fat in the middle of the slice, pleasant scent, supple texture, mild aromatic flavor.
> San Daniele ham
> Modena ham
> Jinhua ham
> Viande de grisons
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