Is it necessary to hang the iberian ham to preserve it?
You have may seen hams in an upright position in any specialized ham shop or even in any large surfaces where sausages are sold. But why are hams hanged? Today we tell you.
In order to keep hams in good conditions, it must be stored in a dry, dark and well ventilated place, and as we said, in upright position. During its drying and maturation process, the piece will sweat and when in this position, the fat will slide more easily to the tip where the frill (a container where all the sweat will accumulate) is placed.
This system is not new. This system has as much time as the Iberian ham. Already in the 10th century when there were not boundaries between Spain and Portugal and different cultures coexisted such as the Moorish, Christian and Jewish; this way of preserving it was used.
It would be around the time of the Christian Reconquest, it would have become a sign of Christianity since they expelled the Jews and Muslims who were stated in southern peninsula and impose the Christian religion as the official one. The fact of hanging out a ham in the hallway of the houses was a sign that pork was consumed in that home and, therefore, proved to be a “good” Christian who complied with the rules to avoid inquisition .
This custom remained to these days for practical reasons (It is easier to pick up the sweat at a single point at the end of the ham leg.) Even so, we remind you that once the ham has been started, the best thing to do is place it on a ham holder, in horizontal position since it will be much easier to slice.
You already know a little more about why the ham is placed in this position. See you soon!