OUR PROCESS

OUR PROCESS

The ham and shoulder production process at Fermín is slow and laborious. It can last anywhere from 15 months to more than 4 years.

For more than 60 years, we’ve been following exactly the same recipe. That means savoring the legacy of our family, who has worked hard to preserve our natural and exquisite product.

For us, this natural and artisanal process begins at the farm. We take care of our pigs throughout their lives, including how they live, how healthy and happy they are, and what they eat.

The most important steps in this traditional dry curing process are:

The ham and shoulder production process at Fermín is slow and laborious. It can last anywhere from 15 months to more than 4 years.

For more than 60 years, we’ve been following exactly the same recipe. That means savoring the legacy of our family, who has worked hard to preserve our natural and exquisite product.

For us, this natural and artisanal process begins at the farm. We take care of our pigs throughout their lives, including how they live, how healthy and happy they are, and what they eat.

The most important steps in this traditional dry curing process are:

Each piece of ham must be cut and then cleaned to remove the excess fat.  After that, we trim it, without leaving the ham (or the shoulder) unprotected. It is important that there are no holes or fissures that could let germs in during the curing process.

BUTCHERING

& PROFILING

BUTCHERING

& PROFILING

Each piece of ham must be cut and then cleaned to remove the excess fat.  After that, we trim it, without leaving the ham (or the shoulder) unprotected. It is important that there are no holes or fissures that could let germs in during the curing process.

SALTING & WASHING

The salting is a very old technique that preserves fresh food without artificial ingredients.

Once the hams have been prepared and sorted by size, they are covered in salt at controlled temperatures in order to preserve them and encourage dehydration. The pieces usually remain in these salting rooms for one day per kilo, which is weighed when fresh. Controlled temperature and humidity help the salt distribution be homogeneous.

Then, when the pieces have completed their salting process, they are washed with lukewarm water to remove the excess salt. Once cleaned, they are hanged and moved to another room for salt stabilization. This post-salting process spreads the salt evenly throughout the interior of the ham. This stage takes between 3-4 months and also takes place in controlled temperature and humidity.

SALTING

& WASHING

The salting is a very old technique that preserves fresh food without artificial ingredients.

Once the hams have been prepared and sorted by size, they are covered in salt at controlled temperatures in order to preserve them and encourage dehydration. The pieces usually remain in these salting rooms for one day per kilo, which is weighed when fresh. Controlled temperature and humidity help the salt distribution be homogeneous.

Then, when the pieces have completed their salting process, they are washed with lukewarm water to remove the excess salt. Once cleaned, they are hanged and moved to another room for salt stabilization. This post-salting process spreads the salt evenly throughout the interior of the ham. This stage takes between 3-4 months and also takes place in controlled temperature and humidity.

DRYING & MATURATION

(AGING)

In the previous phase it is important to control the temperature and the humidity.  It is considered a “critical” step for the correct elaboration of the product. Once they reach a “stable” temperature, they are transferred to natural dryers.

This drying process occurs in natural “secaderos” that we also called “bodega”. A traditional and paused drying process allows the pieces of meat to reach an optimal maturation. Temperature and humidity are controlled through ventilation by opening and closing windows.  The natural “sweating” of fat during the day is accompanied by concentration and cooling at night, a key element in this process. During this process, each piece will lose between 30% and 40% of its initial weight.

DRYING & MATURATION

(AGING)

In the previous phase it is important to control the temperature and the humidity.  It is considered a “critical” step for the correct elaboration of the product. Once they reach a “stable” temperature, they are transferred to natural dryers.

This drying process occurs in natural “secaderos” that we also called “bodega”. A traditional and paused drying process allows the pieces of meat to reach an optimal maturation. Temperature and humidity are controlled through ventilation by opening and closing windows.  The natural “sweating” of fat during the day is accompanied by concentration and cooling at night, a key element in this process. During this process, each piece will lose between 30% and 40% of its initial weight.

In Fermin, we undergo a unique and artisanal curing process. The curing time depends on the breed of the pig and the size of the piece:

  • Acorn-fed Iberico ham is cured for a minimum of 36 months
  • Acorn-fed shoulder a minimum of 20 months
  • Iberico ham (not acorn-fed) a minimum of 24 months
  • Iberico shoulder (not acorn-fed) a minimum of 16 months
  • Serrano ham a minimum of 18 months
  • Serrano shoulder a minimum of 10 months

This is when the magic happens. Hams and shoulders continue to undergo the biochemical processes initiated during the curing process. But it is here where our artisanal and finest product gets its superb qualities of aroma, flavor, and texture.

In Fermin, we undergo a unique and artisanal curing process. The curing time depends on the breed of the pig and the size of the piece:

  • Acorn-fed Iberico ham is cured for a minimum of 36 months
  • Acorn-fed shoulder a minimum of 20 months
  • Iberico ham (not acorn-fed) a minimum of 24 months
  • Iberico shoulder (not acorn-fed) a minimum of 16 months
  • Serrano ham a minimum of 18 months
  • Serrano shoulder a minimum of 10 months

This is when the magic happens. Hams and shoulders continue to undergo the biochemical processes initiated during the curing process. But it is here where our artisanal and finest product gets its superb qualities of aroma, flavor, and texture.

SELECTION

PIECE BY PIECE

Determining the time when the Jamon Iberico is ready is not an easy task. Our Ham Master inserts a thin natural bone into the interior of the curing ham, and by touching, sight and the aroma of the interior of the piece, makes his decision.

A Ham Master is responsible for controlling and inspecting every piece, from start to finish, including the last piece by piece selection to determine if is ready to leave our facilities and make its way to your kitchen.

SELECTION

PIECE BY PIECE

Determining the time when the Jamon Iberico is ready is not an easy task. Our Ham Master inserts a thin natural bone into the interior of the curing ham, and by touching, sight and the aroma of the interior of the piece, makes his decision.

A Ham Master is responsible for controlling and inspecting every piece, from start to finish, including the last piece by piece selection to determine if is ready to leave our facilities and make its way to your kitchen.