The adequate storage of a 100% Iberico Bellota Hamis essential to ensure we can take full advantage of its outstanding qualities. In order to make sure it is done correctly we must start by finding it a storage area which guarantees a ventilated, clean and dry atmosphere. We must also be careful not to expose our 100% Iberico BellotaHam to strange smells. Let’s getinto more specific instructions:
• The storage temperature must never be over 18ºC.
• The ideal level of humidity is in between 60% and 75%. If the humidity level is below 60%, the curing process will accelerate something which is not necessarily bad; the ideal curing rhythm will depend on when we would like to consume the piece and/or how many pieces we are storing. If the humidity level is above 75% the 100% ibérico bellota Ham risks generating more mould than necessary but this is an easy to solve problem: you just need to paint the ham with a paintbrush dipped in vegetal oil (sunflower oil is recommended).
In the case that the 100% Iberico Bellota Ham is delivered wrapped up in paper or a ham cover, which would be the most common case, it is extremely important never to keep it on for more than 6 weeks; otherwise it can favour the appearance of mite which although not presenting any risks healthwise will certainly ruin the ham’s taste.
With these indications we are taking care of the fundamental principles of storage in what concerns the100% Iberico Bellota Ham in piece; that is of course, until the moment we open it. Once open, we must cover it with a piece of the fat we took off on the first stage of carving, this will preserve the ham’s moisture and flavour.
It is also important to consume the ham at room temperature so as to be able to fully enjoy its incredible taste. If we consume it at too cold a temperature the flavour will lose part of its power, while if we consume it at too high a temperature, the ham will sweat too much making carving more difficult as well as increasing the saltiness which will result in a loss of flavour and aroma intensity.
Last but not least, we would like to explain two phenomena you are likely to find in 100% Iberico Bellota Hams and which sometimes createconfusion in what concerns quality preservation. The first one we have already outlined, it is none other than the appearance of mould in the exterior rind of the ham. The proliferation of mould is usually due to an excess level of environmental humidity; however moulds and yeasts are something that is naturally developed on the ham rind during the long curing process in the cave. If they are present in excess, you can eliminate them, as we indicated above, just by applying new vegetal oil (never used or olive) over them.
The second trait we will commonly find in 100% Iberico Bellota Hams and which tends to generate confusion as to its origin are the white dots. Those little white dots are none other than crystallised particles formed mainly by an amino acid called tyrosine which materializes during the deterioration of proteins. They are not at all harmful, quite the opposite they are a sign of an optimal curing time and process.