Sliced Jamón: Hand-Carved vs Machine sliced. Which one is better?
We all have seen the slicing machines at the deli. From meats to cheeses, everything cut with them looks delicious. But there are some delicacies that you will hardly find at your local supermarket or grocery store. Foods that must be experienced instead of just eaten.
Like sliced Ibérico ham, one of the many delicacies from Spain. You see, Spaniards take their food seriously, but they also love to have fun while eating! And of all Spanish foods, perhaps the most emblematic, seriously taken, and absolutely fun, is a good sliced Ibérico ham.
From the moment it is first cut, down to the last slide on your plate, the experience of eating sliced jamón should be unforgettable. To understand why, we must first consider the differences between machine sliced and hand carved products. Both can be great, but only one enhances the subtle tastes and textures that make Spanish jamón the best in the world.
“Not all hams are created equally, nor should they all be sliced in the same way. Machine sliced jamón may work for the right occasion, but for a full sensorial experience, hand carved jamón is the way to go“
Machine Sliced Jamón
The experience of machine sliced jamón starts at the store or the manufacturer’s facility. From the moment you buy it, what you see is what you get. Large uniform slices, cut perpendicular to the fibers in the ham. Behind the scenes, several measures are inevitably taken prior to slicing. The jamón must be boned, compressed into a block, and refrigerated for easier cutting, all necessary steps that will affect its many qualities.
When machine slicing, friction from the blade also generates heat, which further alters the properties that make sliced Ibérico de bellota ham a beloved delicacy around the world. Part of the fat will be lost due to the melting of the jamón’s oleic acid. The experience will not be complete. The sliced jamón on your plate won’t make any Spaniard say “Que buen jamón!”
But worry not! At Ibérico Club, we offer only the best hand-carved jamón, cut by master carvers right in the heart of Spain.
Why hand-carved Jamón?
Slicing Ibérico ham is an artform. Master carvers follow decades of tradition to ensure every cut contains all the flavor profiles that elevate Ibérico ham to its place in Spanish cuisine. The cut starts in the “maza” or “babilla,” using a specialized carving knife to slice small flakes. Each cut is made in the direction of the ham’s fiber, and the ideal size of every slice is about twice as wide as the blade of the knife. Depending on which part is cut, the texture and flavor of the flakes will slightly vary.
Carve your jamón any other way, and you may find yourself shortchanged from that unforgettable experience. Hand carved jamón, when cut right, enhances the flavors, properties, and nuances in every slice, offering a more succulent, fulfilling, and visually attractive product.
So, which type of sliced jamón should you choose?
There is a jamón for every occasion, and choosing the right kind will save you both time and money.
Machine sliced Ibérico ham works well in recipes, where its properties will inevitably change with heat during cooking. Since there is no specialized labor or skills behind machine slicing, it makes sense for this type of sliced jamón to be less expensive.
Hand carving jamón Pata Negra, on the other hand, represents the start of a ritual. From the moment a master carver slices into the jamón, to when you feel it melting in your mouth, the whole experience is a feast of the senses. An expert’s labor, time, and love for their craft must all be factored into the price of hand-sliced jamón.
“At Ibérico Club, we believe in the importance of tradition. We understand that for an enhanced flavor, and smooth, succulent textures in every cut, it is always better to let a professional do their job. That’s why we offer hand-carved Jamón Pata Negra for your eating pleasure, all carefully packed and ready to be delivered to your home.”
Or, if you feel up to the challenge, start learning how to carve your own Ibérico ham, and enhance your experience of this Spanish delicacy even further! We can help with everything you need, from different types of top-quality jamón Ibérico, to the best ham holder in the market, and more.
Check out our Hand-Carved Jamón Pata Negra to learn more!