All You Need To Know About Our Spanish Jamon!

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Chef Maria cutting our Spanish Jamon

My Little Tapas Bar opened in 2016 with a goal of providing you, our customers, an authentic Spanish experience by exploring traditional Spanish cusine. Chef Maria, originated from Salamanca, has specially selected some of her favourite Spanish Jamon and Tapas for Singapore to enjoy!

The thought behind My Little Tapas Bar comes from the Spanish tradition of ‘bar hopping’ where people consume delicious tapas and spend time with their friends. Tapas are traditionally small snacks or appetisers that people would have at bars before their dinners or lunch during the weekends. There are a variety of tapas from Hot and Cold like Tortilla de patatas or Pulpo de la casa. The best thing about Tapas is that there is always something for everyone! You can check out our menu here and see which Tapas is your favourite! 

This beautiful Spanish tradition has evolved over the years as people now ‘go for tapas’. Meaning, people will enjoy some drinks and tapas at one bar before moving to another. This creates an eventful evening of sampling and pairing different foods and drinks while enjoying the numerous bar locations around the city. ‘Going for tapas’ has now become a social activity that everyone can participate in! 

There is no surprise that jamon is one of the most popular items that people usually order when ordering tapas. But have you ever wondered about the tradition and history behind Jamon itself?

My Little Tapas Bar Jamon:

Spain produces many types of Spanish Jamones but each jamon has a unique process influenced by their location and breed. At my Little Tapas Bar we offer Fermin Jamon Serrano, Montaraz Jamon Iberico Cebo, Juan Pedro Jamon Iberico Bellota, and Joselito Jamon Iberico Bellota. 

Fermin Jamon serrano 

Jamon Serrano cured and aged for at least 18 months, freshly hand-sliced off the bone from our in-store jamon bar. 25 per serving

Montaraz jamon iberico cebo 

Spanish ham from grain-fed Iberian black pigs, cured and aged for at least 24 months, freshly hand-sliced off the bone from our in-store Jamon Bar. 25g per serving

Juan Pedro Jamon Iberico Bellota (Black tag) 

Bellota Spanish ham from acorn-fed Iberian black pigs, cured and aged for at least 36 months, freshly hand-sliced off the bone from our in-store Jamon Bar. 25g per serving.

Joselito Jamon Iberico Bellota (Black Tag) 

This Joselito jamon comes from free-range acorn-fed Iberian black pigs. The savoury flavour of Joselito’s occurs as they age and cured for 48 months. 25g per serving.

Curing Process:

When making jamon, Everything is important– the weather, the farmers, the trees, and the feed. Each jamon has its own unique curing process but in most cases it can take two to four years. This extraordinarily long curing process is possible because of the huge amount of fat on each ham and, in the case of the Bellota hams, the antioxidant quality of their diets. Over the curing period they lose nearly half their weight as the fat drips away. 

The jamon is packed in sea salt and hung to dry for a few weeks at the beginning of its curing process. It is then left to absorb the salt for a few weeks and are hung in factories with open windows allowing air to circulate round them.

When cutting the meat each part of the jam has a different texture and enhance of flavour. In Spanish cuisine every piece of the jamon leg is used and enjoyed. For example, some parts can be used for paella or croquettes de jamon as those are usually the leanest parts of the ham.

Jamon Meat:

  • Round side of the jamon – Maza is the juiciest part and has the most compact meat.
  • Babilla: is the narrower part of the leg and the leanest. 
  • The punta at the opposite end of the hoof, is full of flavour and rich in fat.
  • The codillo in the upper part of the maze, is the most flavourful and juiciest.

Watch the video below to see how Maria cuts our Spanish jamon into thin mouth watering pieces.

Cutting Process:

The traditional way of cutting jamon requires three different types of knives. A long flexible knife used for slicing and a long cerated knife used for removing the skin are needed. It is also important to use a short sturdy knife with a pointed top to make incisions. To keep our knives sharp we also use a sharpening steel before cutting.

The process of cutting jamon is very unique. Demonstrated in the video, Chef Maria begins by using the cerated knife to remove the skin and outer layers of fat. Chef Maria explains, “when we start slicing the jamon, the blade has to be pressed firmly and positioned at a shallow angle to get thin translucent pieces (4-5 cm long)”. Chef Maria adds, “it’s very important that our knives stay sharp, so we always use a sharpening steel before cutting”. The idea is very simple, but it takes a lot of practice to get those perfect pieces that contains enough lean fat and meat for the flavour to be present!

Food Pairing:

The traditional way of enjoying jamon is with with bread and onion jam. It is so simple but yet so delicious! But that’s not all, jamon is used in a lot of Spanish Tapas. For example, Pealla de Jeffe, Coca de Probadura, Bikini de Jamon, Croquettas de jamon, and much more. Whenever you’re trying Jamon on it’s own it can always be paired with a lovely glass of full bodied red wine.

If you have not tried this Spanish delicacy book a reservation at My Little Tapas Bar and try out it today! Don’t forget to write a comment on our Facebook or Instagram page and tell us all about your experience!

Thank you,  My Little Tapas Bar

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