Artisan food is food produced following an artisanal process, either completely by hand or with the help of manual tools or even mechanic ones just as long as the direct manual contribution of the artisan remains the most important part of the finished product. 100% Iberico Bellota Ham falls clearly in the category of artisan food as it is produced following ancestral artisanal techniques in which the artisan’s labour is essential. It is true that within the industry we can find some artificial production but the final result has nothing to do with what comes out of natural curing cellars. 100% Iberico Bellota Ham as any worthy artisan food needs to follow its own pace and an artificial acceleration of its curing phaseswillonly result in a deterioration of the end-product quality.
100% Iberico Bellota Ham matures profiting from of the unique climatic conditions of the Sierra de Huelva (mountain range), renowned cradle of the ham.The Sierra de Huelva climate sports mild summers (by Spanish standards) during which the hams take advantage of the heat to sweat in the natural cellars located on the higher levels while during the rainy and cold winters they profit from the undergroundlevel caves to consolidate their curing process. The caves are built so as to ensure minimal temperature variations and with enough windows as to ensure an adequate humidity level just by opening and closing them. When and where the 100% Ibérico Bellota Hams need to be is decided by the Maestro Jamonero,who with his deep knowledge touches each ham and observes the consistency and evolution of moulds and fat. In the case of excessive moulds making appearance they are simply treated with unused vegetable oil which is “painted” on the ham using a special paintbrush and the loving care of the cave workers. Artisanal solutions for an artisanal food.
This high reliance on manual labour of traditional 100% Iberico Bellota Ham limits the amount of production of top quality which can be obtained, as with the extraneous surveillance and control required to ensure not just quality but also homogeneity time is always short. This arduouslabour would be worthless without the loving care of the Production Director which will follow the pigs since their birth and on to all the relevant phases in their lives, acquiring a knowledge which will give him a good view about the possibilities of each ham even before starting the maturation process
The special nature of artisan foods is based on their distinctive features, in the case of 100% Iberico Bellota Ham, its aromas, textures and tastes are unique and only fully reachable following the traditional artisanal process. The final result is an individualized, specific product which complies with a utilitarian function, in origin preserving the meat and nowadays satisfying our gourmet appetite, while acquiring the category of work of art. And without a doubt 100% Iberico Bellota Ham is a gastronomic work of art, worthy representative of the high quality of Spanish gastronomy.