You already know that ham is one of the most emblematic products in Spanish cuisine. But there are certain myths surrounding ham that we’ll reveal below.
All the things said about ham that you should ignore
Iberian pork contains a lot of fat and is fattening
Whilst it’s true that there are certain fatty cuts of pork, there are other cuts which are extremely lean. What’s more, we’d emphasise that, due its nutritional value, it’s one of the most complete foods, providing sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B1, B2 and B3.
Iberian pigs are only fed on acorns
In reality, Iberian pigs are reared on grazing pastures. They feed on anything they find, particularly on acorns when they are in season. However, we must clarify that this nut is only available between the months of October and March, so for the rest of the year the pigs have to be fed on other ingredients.
The white specks on the ham are accumulated salts
If you look at slices of ham, it is easy to see some white granules that look like little patches of salt. These are actually called tyrosine crystals. Tyrosine is an amino acid included in proteins and these crystals are naturally produced during the ham curing process. So, the idea that they are composed of salt is false.
Iberian ham and Serrano ham are the same thing
We need to differentiate between Iberian ham and Serrano ham because they come from different breeds of animal. Serrano ham comes from white pigs (within which group there are various breeds), and are raised on cereal-based fodder. In addition, its production process is much shorter than that of Iberian ham.
So, as you can see, there are some very deeply rooted myths about ham in our country.