ANOTHER bastion of Spanish cuisine has been brutalised in the eyes of Spain’s netizens – this time from China.
A video has gone viral of a female market stall worker chopping up a cherished leg of Spanish jamon with a meat cleaver.
She takes to the leg – which is almost as big as her – with great sweeping chops.
It is a far cry from the delicate slices favoured by true jamon aficionados, which is considered an art form in Spain.
Through brute force – including lifting up the leg itself and smashing it down repeatedly – she manages to get the blade through the hunk of meat.
Finally, pleased with herself, she places a hefty chunk on the scales for packaging.
Online Spaniards, ever known for their measured discourse when it comes to foreigners interfering with their cuisine, had a few choice words.
Some tongue-in-cheek praised her ‘magnificent technique’, labelling it the ‘famous cortado a cuchillo’ (finely cut slices).
But one user was more blunt, demanding that she be sent to jail for her culinary crime.
Another commented: “Just when there was nothing in this world left for me to see.”
There were even demands to summon the Chinese ambassador and sever all diplomatic relations between Spain and China.
The true form for cutting jamon iberico is to use a sharp, long, and flexible knife called a ‘jamonera’ or ‘jamonero.’
This knife is specifically designed for slicing jamón. It has a narrow, pointed blade that allows for precise cutting.
An expert starts at the hock (the hoof end) or the narrowest part of the jamón, known as the ‘maza.’
The slices should be thin and even.
You should slice at a 45 degree angle, making the first few slices at the top of the jamón, which is the leanest part. These initial slices are often used for tasting and should be very thin.
As you move down the ham, the meat becomes more marbled and flavoursome. Adjust the thickness of the slices according to your preference.
Keep slicing until you reach the hock. At this point, the meat becomes tougher and drier. You can still enjoy it, but it’s usually used for stews or soups.
Serve the slices on a plate or wooden board. Spanish jamón is often enjoyed with a glass of wine or sherry.
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