The pieces are cleaned and covered with salt to favor dehydration, conservation and contribute to the development of the typical color and aroma of the ham. The salting time is usually one day for each kilo of weight.
The drying chambers have three phases that last about 10 months in which the humidity conditions vary. As the healing progresses, the temperature increases and the humidity decreases.
The post salt finish aims to achieve a homogenous distribution of the salt inside the piece and channel the biochemical processes that will produce the characteristic aroma and flavor of the Don Bernardino Serrano Ham. The minimum duration of the post-drying is 40 days.
The process continues with the gradual dehydration of the ham and the sweating or natural fusion of its adipose tissue takes place. The minimum time of this procedure will be 110 days.
Once the corresponding period of time has passed, we proceed to brush and wash the pieces, recovering the salt to be able to be reused.
Next, the molding of the piece will follow so that they result in a uniform shape, continuing with the drying process.
Maturation is the last process within the drying phase. At this time, the hams continue to dehydrate and lose part of their fats for another 110 days.
Once the hams have passed their cure and previously labeled in the different types of pieces, they pass to the aging cellar. There they will complete a minimum of 300 days from the beginning of the salting process until their sale.
The minimum curing time of any ham in Don Bernardino will be based on the weight of the piece and will be in all cases more than 10 months.