HAM & SHOULDER ELABORATION PROCESS
Salting: In the salting chamber, hams are placed on top of each other separated by salt at a maximum height of eight hams, remaining in salt for one day per kilo at a constant temperature between 1ºC and 5ºC, with humidity conditions around 80-90%. This stage is very important because a quality ham must not be salty; on the contrary, its taste should be sweet.
Post-Salting: At the end of the previous phase, hams are washed with fresh water in order to remove the salt that remains on the surface. This process takes between 40 and 60 days, and when it finishes the curing process starts.
Drying: This step is carried out in a natural drying room. Hams and shoulders are hung to allow the moisture to slowly disappear. They remain there for several months, and the summer heat produces the “sweating” which causes the fat to spread throughout the muscle mass. The natural drying room is where, with our experience and mastery of achieving the optimum natural airing process in a traditional way, based on the reigning winds, the humidity and the environmental heat, the hams mature until they obtain the incomparable aromas and flavours of the Iberian products. These natural drying rooms are what differentiate the elaboration process of the Guijuelo producers from others, where the conditions must be artificially controlled during the whole drying process.