How long does Vacuum Packed Iberico Ham last?
Like all cured meats, Iberico ham has a much longer expiration date than you might expect. When it comes to getting the most out of every slice of Jamon Iberico or Paleta Iberica, it is essential that the right environment is created. During the curation process, the Jamon is hung and exposed to the elements for up to 3 years. During this time, a cocktail of Bacteria, Mold and Fungus help the curation process and go a long way to giving Jamon Iberico its unique tastes. Much like a fine French cheese or a Craft Beer, the organisms are essential to make Jamon as good as it is.
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Why Vaccum Packed is best!
Vacuum packing is a preservation process that removes all the air from the packaging. This way all contact with oxygen is cut, delaying the decay of the meat an preserving all of the fantastic aromas and textures. This way the Jamon Iberico is exactly the way it should be as long as it is eaten straight out of the packet. It is like eating a newly cut slice. This works exactly the same for cure meats too: Lomito, Lomo, Salchichon & Chorizo!
You can buy hand sliced and vacuum packed Jamon from most retailers.
Can I Freeze My Iberico or Serrano Ham?
It is very important to understand that Iberico or Serrano Jamon should never be frozen. The freezing process destroys the complex and nuanced tastes that have been achieved through all those years of dedicated breeding, raising and curing. As long as the seal is secure, the Jamon can easily last up to 90 days without opening. Vacuum packing postpones the expiry date of the product and maintains the intense flavours without the need to freeze anything.
Although we specialise in Iberico Jamon, Serrano ham is stored in a similar way. Often, those searching for Iberico Jamon tend to search for Serrano in error because it is more widely know. Often we are asked: 'Can I freeze my Serrano ham?' when customers mean their iberian ham - the answer is however still the same. You should not freeze your Serrano ham if you can avoid it. If you are unaware of the difference between the Serrano and Iberico Ham- see our blog post!
How do I store my Vacuum Packed Jamon?
There are three very important things to think about when either packing your own Jamon or buying it from a shop. 'How do I store my Vacuum Packed Jamon?' is a question we are asked all the time, and the answer is much more simple than you may think. Here are the three ways to store your Iberico Ham;
1. Keep in a dry and dark place
First thing to do is make sure that the Jamon is in a dry and dark place. If the meat were to be exposed to direct sunlight or heat source it can affect the quality & the taste of the meat. So keep it away from the oven or a sunny window!
2. Do I need to refrigerate my Jamon?
Many, many people assume that you need to refrigerate Jamon but it isn't necessary. Putting the meat in the fridge won't harm it but you do not need to refrigerate Jamon because the meat is already vacuum packed. A cupboard or pantry will be fine to keep the Jamon. If you do choose to keep the Jamon in the fridge, be sure to take it out and let it rest to room temperature before eating. This way you will be able to fully appreciate the Jamon in all its nuanced and sweaty glory!
3. When opening your Jamon!
Jamon Iberico is a more than a Ham. It is an experience. It is like sipping a vintage Bordeaux red wine or the first crumble of Parmigiano. It is certainly something to savour and enjoy. So much time, preparation and hundreds of years of curing experience have led to the moment that the Jamon Iberico de Bellota touches your tongue. So make sure that you do it properly and do not eat the Jamon right away. Let the Jamon air for a little while & let the slices separate naturally, then eat sparingly.
Buy Vacuum Packed Iberico Ham
Hand Carved Jamon is the best way to experience the raw tastes of Iberian cured meat. It allows you to take your time and spread your tasting over a couple of weeks.
There are two versions available with The Black Hoof. First, a vacuum-packed whole deboned shoulder or Leg or Hand Carved Jamon Iberico which is put into vacuum packets to ensure they stay fresh for longer. What is more, the hard work has already been done for you: All that is left to do is eat and enjoy!