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Importers and purveyors in the finest Spanish hams and Deli produce
Jamones Exquisitos
  07880 793008

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Our ham leg roots!

It was the early 80's, when i Craig Henton, founder of Jamones Exquisitos developed a true passion for Spain. This grew and grew over time, and in the early 90's became aquainted with my now joint business partner Jason Garcia.

From that time on, the seed was planted to develop the means to bring the best traditional Spanish foods into the UK, and with great guidance, work began...

Discussions and work with Jason and myself began in which to bring the rich flavours and aromas of traditional Spanish culinary skills in a way never done before to the UK and around Europe.
Researching and attaining the best traditional and highest quality Spanish suppliers, Jamones Exquisitos has been developed by selecting only the finest Spanish Deli suppliers to import direct into wholesalers and also to your front door, exclusive from us in the UK.
Through great family and friendship, exclusive suppliers have been established to enable us to bring to the UK and Europe, what up until now has been mainly kept in Spain.

Our main aim and goal was to ensure we could supply only the best traditional products that are available and so popular in Spain today. Many of the best products are not exported out of the country so as to keep the highest standard for the locals, however with careful selection and negotiation, we have managed to agree contracts with manufacturers and suppliers in the heart of the rural areas.

This ensures only the best quality products can now be enjoyed by yourselves through us.

The expanding market;

The Spanish market has grown massively here in the UK for the last 3 decades, and now with many more Spanish choosing to reside here, it is becoming the ever popular choice for the traditional Tapas restaurants and meals as well as British enthusiasts and even first timers. We at Jamones Exquisitos, have take the highest pride in selecting only the best Spanish hams, cured sausages, Artisan cheeses, olives, olive oils and many more hand selected delights.

Curing of Jamon;

Please indulge yourself on some of the traditional methods and secrets of how Jamon is cured to achieve fantastic flavours and aromas of the different grades of Spanish cured hams from Serrano, Pata Negra Iberico, Iberico De Bellota and the famously renound Bellota D.O Cinco Jotas (the elite 5 star Iberian acorn fed Jamon!);

Origins and types;

The love for Spanish Jamon (the specially dry cured Spanish pigs leg) from ONLY the best regions in Spain. Primarily, Huelva (SW Spain near the Portuguese border) is traditionally and known for being the best source, and especially if from the "Jabugo" region, which most of our jamons come from. Then the famous Sierra Nevada (Southern Spanish mountains famous also for high altitude skiing, plus the origin of the true 'Tapas' bars in Granada), and Salamanca (West Central Spain), these make the perfect conditions, for grazing and rearing the famous Iberian Pata Negra ("The black 'leg' pig") in free range rural oak filled meadows and forests.

Salting and the curing process begins;

The lovely ham legs are then dry cured firstly by covering in salt  for approximately 7-10 days depending on weight in high humidity - 85-95% - and low temperature - 0-3'C - to draw out the moisture from the meat (this being the reason that Spanish mountanous regions make the perfect climate for this and it can not be achieved to anything like the same level and quality in the whole world today, and it has been attempted everywhere, and thats a fact!

Dehydration and conserving;

After rinsing these hams of their exterior surface salt, they are then rested for between 1-2 months at slightly higher temperatures - 3-6'C - and slightly lower humidity 80-90%, this allows the meats to dehydrate and be conserved, but also allowing the salt thats has absorbed into the skin, to penetrate deep into the ham.

Drying and curing from the start;

The hams are then moved to a 'Secadero' (natural and well ventilated drying room). This process varies from temperatures of 15-30'C and for between 6-12 months. This is how Serrano hams are then finalised.
These hams are cured naturally and without any added fats or ingredients, so the flavour is totally achieved from the ham itself (this is not the case for Italian Prosciutto or Parma hams). 

This is what seperates the process from Iberian hams;
Further curing is done for the Iberico hams, and 'Ham specialists' will tend to these and inspect the hams DAILY to ensure the best curing and process is achieved for the most exclusive taste for each individual ham!
Iberico ham is moved to what is known as a 'Bodega' which is a special storage cellar at temperatures of 10-20'C and humidity of 60-80%.

Higher grades of Iberico and the elite and world renound true acorn fed ("Bellota");
The Iberico (acorn and corn mix fed) ham is usually cured in the Bodega for up to 24 months (24 meses), this ham has a much richer taste and darker complexion due to the special controlled diet and longer curing process, giving its more distinctive exsquisit taste.
The highest grades is Iberico De Bellota (D.O and Cinco Jotas - 5 STAR!) and true FREE range Acorn fed only, or at least 90-95% of the now BIG pigs diet, and must consume at least 3kg's of acorn as day in order to achieve their optimum growth and weight! These will be cured for at least 2 years more.

Testing and hand selection;

The 'ham master' will determine when ready using traditional techniques and then the ham can be enjoyed the way it should be by all its followers by placing on its own special ham stand (Jamoneros) and sliced especially thin (the true and best master ham carvers can read and see light through their ultra fine cuts of cured ham, and this way it melts in your mouth to give the ultimate flavour and aroma experience. To be enjoyed with cheese, olives, crackers, or just simply on its own!

All our other range for you to indulge in;
All of the products above can be supplied through us to give the highest experience of only the best Spanish deli products!

Whilst to the experienced it may be simple, the terminology and different types of produce to the majority can be quite daunting. So if you are unsure at all, and would like more information and advise on what product to select, or even if you are just curious, then please let us know. We are only a call away and would be delighted to help.

So wait no longer, and do just what we did as we were drawn into the magical culinary Spanish world of food.... ENJOY!!!

Craig y Jason!