Pigs on the beach

We bring to your attention in the text and audio material of the Russian broadcast of the International Spanish Radio about ham – pork gammon, which is one of the symbols of Spanish cuisine and lifestyle.

  • audio file №1

Origin of jamon

In our audio file In the upper left corner of this page, you can listen to the original Russian program about the ham of the “International Spanish Radio” from Madrid in the recording

In addition to the following interesting story in the audio file you can hear Spanish songs associated with the traditions of cooking jamon and other pork dishes.

And then the program text:

WITHVigna in Spanish is called Porco, Furdo or Morano. Whole three words. Not for nothing. Is Spain a piggy paradise? Of course! Only not eternal. For grunting creatures last some two years. Then in heavenly bushes the one who eats dried pork ham feels. But the total number of pig herds does not change from year to year – 25 million heads.

Among all the delicacies made from pork in Spain, the unqualified king is the Spanish ham. These are not smoked, and pork limbs, dried up with a salt temperature, kept in a certain temperature regime from 1 to 2 years. “Jamon” is a ham from the back of the pork leg and a “pallet” from the front. They differ somewhat in taste. “Pallet “is somewhat more fragrant and sweeter,” jamon “is sharper and more salty. But traditionally it has become so common that outside Spain these two delicacies are united in the general concept of “jamon”.

The first news about the production and use of jamon on the Iberian Peninsula dates back to the time of Roman rule. From Spain, jamon was supplied to the metropolis – to Rome and served as a dry ration for all legionaries in their foreign campaigns. In the archaeological excavations in Tarragona, in Catalonia, discovered Jamon, who is 2000 years old. And it is perfectly preserved.

On the illustration from the Spanish website of the company producing and selling jamon from Extremadura:

One of the main characters of this note – pigs of the breed “cerdo iberico” are blissfully grazing under the encina oak, also mentioned in our material.

Breed of Spanish pigs “Ferdo Iberico” (“cerdo iberico”) – Iberian pig is very different from its tribesmen and tribeswoman in other countries.

A real Iberian pig with a smooth black purple skin casting with almost no hair. It has a long snout and a thin skeleton. The top model, or rather, the athlete, because the herds of Iberian pigs, of which then produce the most expensive and high-quality jamon, are grown not in a pen, but freely grazing in the wild – in light oak forests.

“Insina” (encina) is the name of a species of this oak, whose species is completely different from the one you know and growing in Central European latitudes. But insins have the most acorns that are not real. And they are the basis of the power of the Iberian pig.. Why are there the basis of power!

The best quality ham from Andalusia and Extremadura comes from pigs, whose diet is 100% acorns. In acorns – carbohydrates, oleic acid and vegetable oils, which, penetrating into the meat, form as a result, the fat is more fluid and more evenly distributed in the muscle tissue.

Part of the feeling of the motherland

Hamon for the Spaniard is not so much part of the national cuisine, but part of the national culture, a kind of quality mark of the Spanish way of life.

Here, I think so, and lies the main difficulty for a foreigner when he gets to Spain and decides to understand the intricacies of the issue. Because jamon catches his eye immediately. It is everywhere in the menu of any bar or restaurant. As a snack, first, second, and almost as a dessert. In any grocery institution – in the market, in the supermarket, shelves with piggy feet stretched for ten meters. Here come the schoolchildren, unwrap sandwiches on the go. Long chunks of jamon look out from long French bread in red and white tongues. Here’s a newsstand – on the glossy pages of the covers of magazines advertising jamon. Here is the cinema. On the poster, a retrospective of Almodovar’s film “Hamon, Hamon”. Here is an art gallery: “Hamon in the still lifes of famous masters.”

And if an inexperienced tourist goes to “Meseo de Jamon” – “Jamon Museum” – this is what Spain calls a specialized jam shop, then he will open his mouth altogether and will not close it for a long time. Hundreds of pork legs suspended on the walls and ceilings. Stunned by a strong aroma, an unhappy tourist thinks: no matter how his foot casually falls on his head, he will kill him. And the Spaniards are sitting right there at the bar (in the store there is also she), making dinners like at the market, sipping red wine in wide low glasses, pointing out to the waiter’s salesman the pig’s leg, with which he then slices them with a thin strand jamon for snacks.

Varieties of jamon

Well, if in five words – where is the dog buried? Or a pig?

Jamon is produced throughout Spain, with the exception of the coast. There are too many people resting there without pigs. And the climate is not the same.

But seriously, There are two main varieties of jamon: “Iberico jamon” and simply “jamon”. “Jamon Iberico” is made only from a local type of black Iberian pig. Therefore, “Iberico.” It is tastier and more expensive. All other hams are simply called “jamon” and are made from white pigs.. Here is the first sign for the difference – the color of the claws of the leg of the ham. Just “jamon” hoofs are white, in “iberiko” – black. A simple white pig jamon sometimes has the prefix Jamon Serrano. It means that this ham was kept in the mountains during the drying period – in a cold and dry climate..

“A pig in Spanish is called Porco, Ferdo or Morano. Whole three words. Not for nothing. Is Spain a piggy paradise? Of course! Only not eternal. For grunting creatures last some two years. Then one who eats a dried pork ham feels in paradise bushes ”

(Russian broadcast of the “International Spanish Radio” dated 04/12/2009).

So, the first and most important difference in quality and price is the “Iberico jamon” from a real black pig and the simple “jamon” (in the improved version “Jamon Serrano”) from white breeds of pigs.

Like Spanish wines, for jamons, that “Iberico jamon”, that the improved version of simple jamon – “jamon serrano” has its own sign of quality – “de nominational and orichen” (Denominacion de Origen) – “guarantee of origin”.

Pigs on the beach

Uppercase latin letters on the label

A simple pork ham from a white pig, but matured in the mountains “hamaon serrano” (from the word “sierra” – “mountain”) also has its own quality marks. These are the hams produced in Teruel (Castilla-La Mancha) and Eastreles (in Andalusia, in Granada). Following the old traditions, the producers of any Spanish jamon, that “iberico”, which is simple, pay very great attention to the preservation of the technologies inherited by centuries.

Within the two main groups of ham – “Iberian jamon” and simply jamon, there are several other subgroups: depending on the diet of the pigs from which jamon is prepared, the aging period and

In the village of Santa Barbara de la Casa, where we are now, in the province of Huelva, there are no more than 1,000 inhabitants. And they all hold famous Iberian pigs. Who has a huge flock – the whole plant. Like Senor Romero Sanchas Carvajal, whose “Hamon de Bellot” (bellot (bellota) in Spanish acorn), one of the most famous in Spain. And who in the family for a couple of three grunting creatures.

When comes slaughter period (end of December – beginning of February) Santa Barbara de la Casa has a special atmosphere. I do not know how for pigs, but for all residents “Matanza” (which in Spanish means “slaughter”) great feast of reaping their labors. On the day when a pig is slaughtered, the whole large family gathers in the house: grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, sons-in-law, sister-in-law, children, grandchildren — everyone will find work. AND Spanish law, by the way, requires slaughtering only with a special press gun. In Santa Barbara there are twelve such pistols per 1000 inhabitants. So all the yards take turns using it.

The one who performs the slaughter is called “matarille”. How long will it take to divide a two-year-old piglet carcass weighing about 200 kilograms? Only split – four hours, or even six. And everyone has a job. Including the local veterinarian, who immediately after slaughter comes to take tests for compliance with all hygienic controls and meat quality. Until late at night, children will run around pork carcass steaming from processing, butchered in different parts of the yard exclusively by men. Until late at night, women at a table in a cold barn (and an old coal stove is placed under the table so that their feet do not freeze) will wash the intestines and mix the stuffing. Meat, sweet or pepper, garlic, spicy-smelling blood, stuffing their guts – this is the result of the famous Spanish sausages – “chorizo”.

And they will sing – all the time, all evening. “Choriso”, by the way, is eaten raw, or fried, or used in recipes of many dishes. The best “chorizo” is Andalusian (as in the residents of Santa Barbara de la Casa, where we are located) or in neighbors from the village of Khabuga. And in the late evening barbakuka will be kindled and the first dish of steam pork will be prepared for all the gathered relatives. Have a pig – have prosperity. Up to this day.

Now you hear the famous songs that are sung during the “matsy”, during the time when women dismantle these guts and fill the guts with meat, make the famous “choriso” or “langanisu”. A typical song, which is sung in Andalusia during the “Matanza”.

Pigs on the beach

The most famous Iberian jamon of these lands, the autonomy of Extremadura, which is on the border with Portugal. So we’ll stop at Jerez de la Vaz Caballeros, at the jamon factory. The doors of the factory open at four in the morning. Up to two days, the workers are already cutting about 450 pig carcasses. Despite the fact that the main processes are automated, the cutting of the carcass is completely manual. It must be said that the strictest sanitary control, constant observation throughout the life of the animal-pig extends to the period of production of ham.

And what is the process of curing? Head over to the workshop. There, in the first workshop, a low temperature is from one to five degrees Celsius. Humidity up to 90%. Pig legs – the future famous Extremadura jamons literally bury in salt. Hind legs – “jamon” are kept in salt for ten days, because they weigh ten kilos. And the front ones – “weeds” – are about six days, because their weight is usually six kilograms. After these six to ten days, the hams are washed and placed in special chambers so that salt is evenly distributed over the entire area. A month later, the ham is placed in limbo for another three months to dry. And only then for the final ripening in the cellars – in the “bodega”. And this “bodega” (as in the factory in Jerez de la Vaz Caballeros) holds about 80 thousand hams.

The highest quality in the hierarchy of “Jamon Iberico”, such as “Jamon Iberico de Belote” (“Belota” in Spanish acorn, and “Jamon Iberico de Belote” ”means that it is made from pigs who ate only acorns) are kept in cellars from 18 to 24 months. And the most expensive jamons in the world – the brand “Joselito”, which are produced in the village of Guihuelo, in Salamanca, can withstand up to seven years. It is hard to believe, but the mold on them is the highest mark of quality. How much is a “baller” jamon brand “Joselito”? A whole leg (ten kilograms) for three thousand euros will pull easily.

The famous Spanish doctor Grigorio Maranyon in his famous apologetics of the Spanish cuisine (by the way, he is the Nobel laureate) argued that the nutritional value and ease of assimilation turn jamon into almost medicine. Our health is a true reflection of what we eat. Our body fat, including blood fats, may be worse or better depending on our diet. The type of our fat depends on the meat we eat, says doctor Ramon Kavalopes, a professor of food technology at the veterinary faculty of the University of Extremadura.

The main example of a fatty product in the Mediterranean diet “mediterraneo diet” is pork, which for many years scolded precisely for this characteristic. However, studies conducted both in Spain and abroad (particularly in the United States) have shown that this fat not only does not harm us, but, on the contrary, is useful.. If other types of meat contain mostly saturated fatty acids, which contribute to the formation of LDL, or, let’s say, bad cholesterol, then pork is rich in unsaturated fatty acids. These acids have the opposite effect first. They contribute to the formation of protecting cholesterol, and as a result inhibit the growth of the formation of harmful cholesterol in the human body. Hamon, in addition, contains one and a half times more protein than regular meat. And the Spanish Ministry of Health has officially included jamon in the list of dietary products available for use in all age categories. Of course, if you do not pretend to eat the whole leg at dinner.

“Boar St. Anton”

In the streets of the town of Alberca, near Salamanca, a black boar walks about freely and proudly. It feeds the whole city. On the Plaza Mayor – the main square of the city is emblazoned with his statue, or his relative. All of Spain knows his name: “El Moralo de San Anton”. Translated – “St. Anton’s boar”.

God’s man, St. Anton, patronized all animals and birds. On the Holy Day – June 13, a small pink twenty-kilogram piglet is delivered to Plaso Major Alberka. It is sprinkled with holy water and released into the streets of the city – for free swimming. The nameless piglet acquires the name and proud status of the pig St. Anton, and for eight months, up to January 17, he walks like a cat where he pleases. It feeds in a restaurant, then in a bar – with wastes, then tourists will treat passers-by. And this time a lottery with a number is sold in the city. On January 17 of each year, lottery ticket holders, and this is practically the entire city of Alberca, gather at the Plaza Mayor and will “refar” (“play”) a pink piglet who has turned into a healthy boar in seven months. This is such a tradition, year after year recurring.

Spain is a paradise for pigs and for those who consume them! “, Broadcast on 04/12/2009, the Russian broadcasting of the” International Radio of Spain “(Radio Exterior de España).

Record audio and its interpretation in the text

Also on topic:

A fragment of the film of the Spanish state television TVE (2006, Russian translation) about the Iberian pig and Jamon (from the documentary series “The Mediterranean Diet” (La dieta mediterránea-15, the series “Meat Products” – La carne);

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