How to fully enjoy a slice of Jamón de Trevélez
Is there even a more iconic tapa than a simple slice of Jamon? Of course not. And, at FoodLoverTour, we know that no Jamon would be as complete and delicious without the right drink pairing (more on that to come). In the case of the very special Jamon de Trevélez, it is important to feel the extraordinary weight of craftship and tradition contained in each little piece of the real Jamon.
The Jamon de Trevélez is an absolute miracle. A balance of flavors, dating back to the Roman times way before the Moorish influence over Spain, that brought a knowledge and a specific identity to the meat.
How is it made?
The following breeds of white pigs are used: Landrace, Large-White y Duroc-Jersey, and these pigs have a plant based diet.The cold and dry breeze of the Trevélez region is ideal to allow the natural curing of the meat, and this particular curation process takes between 14 to 24 months – this allows the flavors to reach their maximum potential.
How to enjoy the Jamón de Trevélez?
With or without bread, the Jamon is delicately placed on the top of a plate like cheese would be, or used as part of a recipe. The Jamon de Trevélez itself can be found on the Tapas Tour in Granada, and it’s one of the key players in Spanish culture as well as one of the best openers to Andalusia’s most sacred tradition: Food.
Why is the “Jamón de Trevélez” special ?
With its perfectly distributed fat and delicate red color, you’ll notice a real Jamon de Trevélez, a ham elaborated in the region of Trevélez (1200 m high), is a piece of art for real food-lovers. Only handcrafted Spanish hams have this distinct smooth butter-like taste that slides on your tongue. The color of its meat is pale, and its taste is sweet and delicate – no nitric preservatives are used and the levels of salt are kept very low.
Standing on the top of the ham Olympus, those produced in the village of Trevélez, in the countryside of the Sierra de Alpujarra, are the ultimate reference. With its high sealing of hams, shops here are overflowing with pork meats – an abomination for vegetarians. All around you, dozens of hams are waiting patiently to be sold.
When is the best time to eat this Jamon?
Cut into slices, the Jamon de Trevélez is perfect for various occasions. Its slightly salty taste makes it the perfect tapa or even a starter for lunch. It pairs well with a simple and fresh crafted beer from Andalusia, it is perfect to enjoy after a morning hike in the mountains or a visit to Granada‘s monuments.
What to pair with “Jamon de Trevélez” ?
At night, the pairing of Andalusian wines with the Jamon de Trevélez can greatly complement the flavors of the ham. A Fino Sherry, dry white wine from Jerez, with its crisp, nutty flavors and high acidity also makes an excellent pairing for Jamon de Trevélez. The wine’s light body and low alcohol content won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the ham. Also white, dry and also from Jerez, a Manzanilla Sherry has a slightly salty taste that can complement the saltiness of the ham itself. On the other hand, a bottle from Montilla-Moriles will make sense if fortified wine if your thing. This is typically made with the Pedro Ximénez grape and has rich, sweet flavors that won’t melt with the ham’s delicate nutty taste.
How to eat “Jamón de Trevélez” ?
Good drinks pairing will mean nothing if the Jamon de Trevélez is not well sliced. First, the ham needs to be cut thinly using a sharp knife then slice the Jamon de Trevélez as thinly as possible. This will allow you to taste the full range of flavors and textures.
On the Foodlovertour in Granada, the ham will always be served at room temperature, and should be consumed slowly. Yes, the Jamon de Trevélez needs a moment to savor its aroma. Close your eyes and inhale deeply, taking in the rich, salty, and slightly nutty aroma. Then take a small slice of the ham and place it on your tongue. Let it rest there for a moment to allow the flavors to fully develop. Chew slowly, taking note of the texture and flavor of the ham. You should taste a combination of salty, nutty, and slightly sweet flavors.
To end on a little story: In 1862, Queen Isabel II fell in love with the cured ham during a fair dedicated to the products of Granada. She then offered to the city of Trevélez the branding iron that would later be used to stamp each and every ham coming from Trevélez.
Try the Jamón de Treveléz for yourself on one of our Tapas Tours in Granada