OLEIC ACID: Monounsaturated fat typical of vegetable oils such as olive oil. It has a positive influence on the blood vessels reducing the risk of liver and cardiovascular diseases.
MARINATED: It is a gastronomic mix in the form of broth or sauce made of different components (paprika, oregano, salt, garlic and vinegar) meant chiefly to preserve and to enhance the food. Marinated meat is that which has been seasoned.
HAM VINTAGE: Group of hams and shoulders of Iberian pigs that were slaughtered during the acorn-feeding season. Each vintage has its own and differentiated characteristics.
STIFLE (or Fore-shank): Section of the piece opposite of the pork shank. It is narrower than the shank, usually cured more and is of greater consistency, it is ready to be cut when the ham is placed with the hoof downward. It has little fat content and does not yield much.
CELLAR: A place with constant temperature and humidity throughout the year, where the hams and Iberian pig shoulders cure until their consumption.
CALA: A quality test. It is the process whereby the exquisite aromas of a ham are discovered, serving likewise as control of the possible internal alterations. A certain punch is introduced into the ham, also called Cala, made from horse or cow leg bone. The end thereof becomes impregnated with the aromas that, once removed from the ham, are perceived by the smell.
ACORN QUALITY : Qualification system whereby the quality of the hams and shoulders of the Description of the Pasture Originating from Extremadura, specific to the feeding of the Iberian pig during the fattening stage in the pastures. Acorn: the animal enters the acorn-feeding season with 80/105 Kilos, replenishing around 60% of its entrance weight based on acorns and herbs.
FEED QUALITY: The animal is fed on an extensive diet with animal feed authorised by the Regulating Board and grass from the Pastures.
MIXED FEED QUALITY: The animal replenishes around 30% of its entrance weight based on acorns and herbs, supplementing the rest of its diet with natural feed authorised by the Regulating Board.
SHINBONE: Leg bone. It is normally used, along with the hock, to obtain small cubes of ham since its meat is firmer and more fibrous.
SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS: The element or group of elements whereby an agricultural or food product is distinguished clearly from other similar agricultural or food products pertaining to the same category.
IBERIAN PIG: Indigenous pig of the Southwest and East of the Iberian Peninsula characterized by its excellent adaptation to the pastures, by its capacity to infiltrate fat into the lean parts and by having some long and very fine limbs.
CERTIFICATION: It is an activity, which by the use of certification marks, is meant to provide the final consumer with the guarantee that a product complies with certain previously defined requirements.
HAM CUTTING KNIFE: A very long and flexible narrow blade knife, which enables a person to cut very thin slices of ham.
CHACINA: Seasoned pork from which cold meats are made.
SHARPENING KNIFE: Cylindrical steel utensil with a handle that is used to sharpen knives.
FORE-SHANK (or Stifle): Section of the ham piece opposite of the pork shank. It is narrower than the shank, usually more cured and is of greater consistency. It is ready to be cut when the ham is placed with the hoof downward. It has little fat content and does not yield much.
DEHESA: It is land or pasture that is generally enclosed and commonly used for fodder.
DENOMINACIÓN DE ORIGEN PROTEGIDA (PROTECTED ORIGIN NAME) (DOP): It specifies the name of a product whose production, transformation and processing should be performed in a certain geographical area, with specific recognised and proven know-how.
ESPECIALIDAD TRADICIONAL GARANTIZADA (GUARANTEED TRADITIONAL SPECIALITY) (ETG): It is a certificate that grants the recognition that the piece of Serrano Ham is one of the exceptional products of Spain. Only certified hams carry the back-label of “ETG Jamón Serrano” guaranteeing its production, quality and characteristics.
INFILTRATIONS: Lines of fat between the muscular mass that confer juiciness to the ham and where, in the case of those of acorn quality, the volatile components of the acorn are accumulated during the curing period. This will finally determine its aroma and flavour.
CURED HAM: This is a meat product made by salting and subsequent drying and curing the pork leg.
SERRANO HAM: All the hams produced in Spanish territory, without making distinction by the origin of the pig breed and that are certified according to the ETG.
JAMONERO (HAM HOLDER): Fixed structure or with a revolving system, which serves as a support whereupon the Ham leg is placed and secured, thus facilitating the cutting thereof.
HOCK: Part of the ham located between the tibia and the fibula that, once obtained, is cut in small cubes in order to relish its juiciness and flavour.
MATANZA: It is the slaughter of one or several pigs in order to prepare cold meats for a family. It is performed once a year in the coldest months of the winter.
MAZA (PORK SHANK): It is the part of the ham leg which has the greatest quantity of lean meat; it is considered the tastiest, juiciest and the most tender part. It is a zone very much appreciated by the senses and which yields a lot.
MONTANERA (ACORN-FEEDING SEASON): It is the fattening stage wherein the natural resources of the pasture are taken advantage of. During this time the Iberian pig eats acorns, herbs and roots. It usually starts from October on, coinciding with the fall of the first acorns and ends at the end of February or the beginning of March. The herd of pigs in acorn-feeding season should be directed by a swine-herder, so as to get the most out of the acorns. At the beginning of the acorn-feeding season the acorns which are farther away and of difficult accessibility are sought, since the pigs are more agile. In spite of the excess fat produced by pigs fed with acorns, the same confers high quality and value to its products. This characteristic is due to the slow but gradual incorporation of fat infiltrated between the muscles, which is favoured by the exercise the pigs do when grazing for pasture.
ORGANOLEPTIC: This is said of the properties that may be perceived through the senses: colour, flavour, and aroma.
PALETILLA: Fore leg.
PERNIL (HAUNCH): Rear leg (hindquarters or ham)
ARTISAN PRODUCTS: Artisan products are deemed those manufactured by individuals or legal entities.
MEAT PRODUCTS: These are food products prepared total or partly with meat of authorised animal species, submitted to specific operations before being released for their consumption.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS: Any good, article or object of a lasting or fungible nature that, being the result of an industrial process, is meant to be sold directly to consumers or users, or through its commercialisation in retail stores.
TIP: Distal part of the ham, opposite of the hoof. Very tasty zone with good fatty content.
RESERVE: In the pastures, according to the climate, there are alternate years of little or a lot of acorns. The type and quantity of fruit consumed by the animals determines the peculiarities of the ham vintage. In each accounting period, the Regulating Board of the DO, makes a statement regarding the quality of the same, deciding what pieces will display the Reserve. qualification.
SALTINGS: These are non-cut meats and products which have undergone the action of the salt, whether alone or accompanied by other curing components during the curing stage.
DRYING PLANT: This is a place where suitable conditions of temperature, humidity, etc. are reproduced to ensure the correct drying and quality of the legs and shoulders. When this process is done manually (opening and closing windows) the drying place is called a “natural drying place”.
SWEATING: Dissemination of fat through the ham that is made manifest in the shape of droplets, as a result of room temperature and, in the case of acorn quality hams, due to its high content of oleic acid.