|Place of origin||Spain|
Jamón serrano (Spanish: [xaˈmon seˈrano]; "Serrano ham", literally "ham from the sierra, or mountain range") is a type of dry-cured Spanish jamón (ham) which includes most varieties other than those made with black Iberian pigs (jamón ibérico). It is generally served in thin slices, occasionally diced.
The majority of serrano hams are made from a landrace breed of white pigs or from commercial breeds such as Duroc and are not to be confused with the often more expensive jamón ibérico, made from black Iberian pigs. These aged hams were known as a delicacy even in the days of the Roman Empire. Though not expensive in Spain and the European Union, duties imposed on imported meats and exchange rates make these hams more costly outside the EU. Where available, the meat can usually be purchased sliced, in chunks, or as a complete, bone-in ham.
Jamón serrano has TSG (Traditional Specialities Guaranteed) status. The TSG certification attests that a particular food product objectively possesses specific characteristics which differentiate it from all others in its category, and that its raw materials, composition, or method of production have been consistent for a minimum of 30 years. Jamón serrano described variously as jamón reserva, jamón curado, and jamón extra are all produced from compound-fed white pigs.
Fresh hams are trimmed and cleaned, then stacked and covered with salt for about two weeks to draw off excess moisture and preserve the meat from spoiling. The salt is then washed off and the hams are hung to dry for about six months. Finally, the hams are hung in a cool, dry place for 6 to 18 months, depending on the climate, as well as the size and type of ham being cured. The drying sheds (secaderos) are usually built at higher elevations, which is why the ham is called "mountain ham".
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