Turning a fine leg into a Sandan raw ham is a wonderful art, a journey made of rites and traditions that lasts more than a year. Every day, the skilled hands of Sandan artisans retrace the gestures of a careful workmanship that remained faithful to tradition throughout these years.
The first step is to choose the legs pork that have the best features. These are moved to the plant and placed in a controlled humidity cell, with a temperature between zero and 4°C.
Salting by hand
Within 24 hours, the leg is sprinkled with sea salt and skillfully massaged. To enhance the taste of meat and preserve it naturally, the leg remains subseal one day for each kilogram of weight, at a temperature of 2-3°C with a humidity of 90-95%.
The legs are put to rest at a temperature of 4-6°C with a humidity of 70-80%, for about four months. In this long period the salt get deeply into the meat and spreads inside the ham. After resting, the legs are then washed with lukewarm water.
Later, the hams are aged for an average period of 10 months in ventilated rooms which have the optimal temperature conditions, 16°C in winter and 20-22°C in summer, and moisture, between 70 and 80%. Depending on the type of ham, the final seasoning can reach 16/18 months, up to a total of 20 months.
The part not covered by the rind is coated with a paste of lard, made up of pork fat and rice flour. A special application that protects and softens the exposed meat, allowing however the escape of moisture.
During seasoning, regular checks occur on each leg. The meat consistency is checked by beating. The ripening state and the organoleptic ham properties are verified by puncture, through a thin horse bone. An evaluation entrusted exclusively to the master craftsman’s experience and sense of smell.
After seasoning, the last checks on the hams are carried out and only those considered suitable are approved and fire branded with their seal. After that they can be packaged and distributed in Italy and abroad.