Ham anatomy

Ham anatomy


Experts agree that enjoying a Joselito ham is a ritual. It is essential to know which pieces to buy and what their characteristics are, but above all, it is very important to know what part of the ham we are going to enjoy in what moment, since this will allow us to consume it in the best way.
It could be said that the ham is divided in five parts, each with different characteristics and qualities, but all with that special flavor of Iberian ham raised in the fields of the pasture.
The drumstick is in the upper part, when we place the ham with the hoof facing up. This part has the highest amount of meat, is the widest and has the most fat. It is the largest of all the pieces and presents a large carving surface that must always be followed in the direction of the muscular fibers.
The ‘contramaza’, on the other hand, is the part of the piece that is opposing the drumstick. It is especially flavorful, but due to its lower fat content it is more fibrous and has a firmer texture. Normally, it is more cured and because of this, it has a greater consistency.

The rump has a greater amount of ham than the drumstick. This is because it is bordered by the femur and hipbone. This part is less juicy, which is why when the ham is going to be consumed over a long period of time it is recommended to begin with this piece.
The shoulder is the part of the ham on the other end of the hoof. Its limited surface makes its slices small, although well marbled with fat. Because of all this, it is a very flavorful zone and appreciated in tastings.
Finally, the knuckle, which is also called the shank, is the part closest to the hoof, which is characterized by its fibrous texture due to the amount of nerves and tendons it possesses, but on the other hand the more muscular part it is soft and flavorful. It has the disadvantage of being difficult to slice, so it is generally used in culinary preparations, often in the form of taquitos.
Only by learning about the parts in which our Joselito ham is divided, can we enjoy each piece to the maximum.

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