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The temperature of Iberian ham

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The temperature of Iberian ham

With the arrival of summer and the increasing temperatures, you may well have different questions with respect to the conservation and enjoyment of Iberian ham. Just as wine has an ideal temperature at which its aroma reaches its zenith, Iberian ham also needs an optimum temperature to be enjoyed with all its nuances. Similarly, if you keep your ham at a temperature that is too low, at around ten degrees for example, the oleic acid hardens and the saltiness of its flavour is intensified.

Iberian ham has a purely natural curing process, and this is a reference point that must be kept in mind when serving it. The ideal temperature for serving acorn-fed Iberian ham is 14 or 15 degrees. It is an optimum reference temperature at which the oleic acid of the ham is at its point of maximum fluidity. It is, in addition, taking into account the taste buds, the ideal temperature to perceive the nuances of the flavour.

At 14ºC the flavour lasts longer during the chewing process, as the fat is more fluid. In addition, that perception of intense flavour is greater because the release of fat reduces the saltiness, one of the most important features of acorn-fed Iberian ham.

The general belief indicates that slicing ham causes it to lose flavour. And although it is true that there is a minimal loss of quality in the flavour, the outburst of the salty nuances is more closely related to the temperature than to the cut itself. Therefore, pay attention to the temperature, as it is the determining factor in achieving the flavour that best represents acorn-fed Iberian ham.