In Spain, “Viva la vida” is an outlook on life held by many. Meaning “Live life” or “Enjoy life”, this attitude of acclaiming every moment is reflected in a large part of the Spanish culture, whether it be art, music, or food.
This popular sentiment was brought to Hong Kong in May at exalted Spanish restaurant Alzina Spanish Asador in Tsim Sha Tsui by one of nine master cortador champions in the world from Spain, José Manuel Hidalgo - who was invited to introduce an exclusive showcase of Ibérico ham slicing to Hong Kong epicureans.
During the award-winning Cortador’s visit, our team at Jin Communications had the pleasure to get up close to the master with some of the city’s top food bloggers and lifestyle Medias and learn from him the techniques of savouring and carving ham through a series of media interviews, demonstrations and tastings.
With all the talk about ham-carving, here are a few covert tips shared by the award-winning Cortador that we'd like to share for all you meatlovers out there :
1. The ideal temperature of slicing is between 20 – 24 degrees with a width of approximately 2-3 cm.
2. The ham has to be sliced as thin as possible where one can easily see the knife underneath it.
3. The best way to savour the ham is with bare hands instead of using cutlery to preserve the integrity of the thin and delicate ham.
4. Maza is the most flavourful and juicy part of the leg which has the most meat. The flavour is mild with a hint of sweetness in the aftertaste.
5. The closer the meat to the bone, the more intense the flavours are.
6. Only experienced master cortador will be able to have less than 10% of wastage of the Ibérico leg.
Now let’s truly relish the Iberico ham experience together!