Differences between prosciutto and spanish ham
15/03/2017 — Published by Bego
Although the Spanish palates are well accustomed to the ham of our land, at international level, the prosciutto is constantly confused with the Serrano ham and even the Iberian. The difference in texture is the most noticeable for the non-experienced consumer, being the prosciutto softer, with a less cured appearance, however, the differences begin already in the earliest stages of the manufacturing process.
The first key to talking about a prosciutto is to come from Italy. The Italian product cures for a maximum of 2 years, which gives it that smoother and wet texture in addition to the pink color.
However, Iberian ham, a product considered gourmet, has an additional year of cure, with a total of three years. The healing is supervised by the master hammers, who watch with caution the fulfillment of each step. Its flavor is more intense and aromatic.
The fundamental difference is the breed of the pig. The Iberian ham comes from the Iberian pig, race that is exclusive of the Iberian Peninsula, that is, Spain and Portugal. Actually it can be 100% Iberian, or cross to 75% or 50%, although in these last two cases, the Quality Standard of Iberian, requires that the mother always be pure (100%). Their feeding can be based on feed or finishes in acorn during the montanera era. The food is fundamental for the result in the flavor and the texture of the ham, which is added to the type of pig and its physiognomic characteristics, totally defining the product. Navarretinto produces only acorn feeded 100% Iberian pigs.
Another fundamental difference comes at the time of preparation. The Iberian ham begins with the phase of salting, where the pieces are covered with salt to promote dehydration and to keep each of its parts. Subsequently, it dries for 2-3 months naturally and hangs in the cellars for 3 years.
While the prosciutto is easily combinable with all kinds of culinary menus, such as sandwiches or salads, the Iberian ham is enjoyed with a glass of wine for the best of their pairings, appreciated as a true work of culinary art.