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The Spanish Ham by Cati Gómez
The Spanish ham plays a central role in the history, culture and gastronomy of Spain. Make pigs and for centuries the Spanish ham is part of the heritage.
In particular the Iberian Peninsula, What is now Spain and Portugal, formed the center of the Spanish ham production.
Throughout history have the pig and the ham had different meanings. In the time of the Celts was the pig was worshipped and took an important place in all meals. By contrast, in the time of the Romans the ham seen as a luxury product that could be enjoyed only by the nobility.
Most of the references and documents about the pig and the ham we have from the Roman era. Important author was Columella (first century ad) and his work "the twelve books on Agriculture". In these books series elaborates on the care of the pigs and the ripening process of the hams.
Over the years, the Spanish pig and ham played an important role. So were during the voyage of Columbus to America the hams and other meats were the only source of protein for the Marines. On his second voyage to America he introduces the pig here also.
But the production and consumption of pork also has black periods. The African swine fever (PPA), a viral disease was in 1910 for the first time discovered in Kenya. Then did the PPA through Portugal (1957) in 1960 Spain also to.
The disease was constantly present in the entire pig population of Spain and Portugal. This led to serious economic damage, both of sick pigs as the ban on the export of pigs or derived products.
After 35 years of struggle against the African swine fever explained the Standing Veterinary Committee of the European Union in november 1995 (Brussels) that Spain was "free" of the African varkenpest.
Spain was finally free from the "swine fever-stigma" and were the doors of Europe open again for the pig and derived products.
In the last decades is the consumption and production of the Spanish ham increased and there is a lot of attention for the quality of the ham through the use of traditional methods.
The Spanish ham has international appeal and is seen as a delicacy and has an important place in the world of gastronomy.
If we're talking about Spanish ham then we talk not about one kind of. The most well-known species among the public are the Ibérico ham – "Jamon Ibérico" and serrano ham-"Jamón Serrano". These hams are submitted by various swine breeds, the Ibérico pig and the white pig breed (Large White, Duroc, and Piétran).
"Curing Spanish hams is not a simple process.
It's a miracle!
You need salt, the right humidity and temperature conditions,
time, and thereby a large dose of patience, knowledge and love. " Cati Gómez
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