All of us say it at least once a month (or if were being honest, maybe 4 times a month): Thank God It’s Friday!

Friday the 19th hosted one of The Living Rooms legendary TGIF events, and what an awesome one it turned out to be! With an impressive turn out, an inspiring presentation and delicious Jamón. What more could you ask for on a Friday night?

To kick the evening off, our coworker Danny gave us a very useful presentation on  ’13 Productivity Hacks For Dummies’, but there will be more about that later down the line in a separate blog post, watch this space!

By the time Danny had finished his presentation we’d all had a couple of beers and we’re feeling a bit peckish, queue the Jamonata! I’m originally from Salamanca and on my trip back home for Christmas I thought hey, why not let the folks at TLR try some of the best Jamón in Spain!

Spain produces an astonishing 40 million hams a year, and it is to the west you have to look for the finest Jamón in the regions of Salamanca, Extremadura, Andalucia and across the border into Portugal. It is here that the black Iberian pigs thrive, snuffling on the dusty ground for sweet acorns (bellota) fallen from the trees. To everyone in Spain, these fat pigs with slender legs are known simply as “pata negra” because of their trademark black hooves.

Evidently, we had in our hands one of the finest Jamones in the region, however we still had a small problem. There is a very precise way to carve Jamón, you have to know what you’re doing and this comes with experience and practice. Luckily, I’ve been carving Jamón since I was young, so I’m pretty confident I know how to carve a decent slice by now. Here are some of the most important things to remember when carving the perfect slice of Jamón:

  1. Put the Jamón on a stand with the hoove looking downwards, as if you could “shake its hand”.
  2. First remove the rind and excess fat with a strong knife.
  3. Use a long, narrow and flexible knife to cut thin slices of the ham.
  4. It is important to keep the knife horizontal and make the cut about six centimeters wide and four to five centimeters long.
  5. Once you have finished cutting this area, you should turn the ham around in order to continue carving the other side, named “babilla”.
  6. If you stop cutting, it is recommended to protect the open area with the slices of fat that you have obtained earlier, so that the fat on the top is always kept fresh.
  7. You can also cover the surface with a humid kitchen cloth or kitchen paper.
  8. The meat near the bones that cannot be carved in slices, it can be cut in small pieces or gobbets, that can be used for cooking purposes. The bone of the ham is also a great ingredient for cooking.
  9. Serve as soon as possible, at room temperature. A good tip to help enjoy all the flavour from the ham is to place the slices on a warm plate.
  10. Eat and enjoy in the company of friends, cheese and wine. Simple!

Jamon Cutting in Málaga at TLR Coworking

With these tips in mind, some of us put them into practice and gave it a go. I was impressed with the overall skill within the TLR family, the majority of people did really well and managed to carve some decent pieces of Jamón, whilst avoiding any injuries!

In total, we got through 145 cans of beer, I don’t know how many bottles of wine, numerous slices of cheese and 1 massive 8kg leg of Jamón. We all left feeling inspired with Danny’s 13 hacks whilst also feeling rather full thanks to the copious amounts of Jamón and beer. A successful Friday night I’d say, bring on the next TGIF!


About Juan:

Originally from Salamanca and now living in Malaga and a valued member of the The Living Room coworking family. Juan Co-found Randbee Consultants which is a consultancy company with expert knowledge on spatial data and statistical analysis, web visualization tools, modelling, e-learning and capacity development. His multidisciplinary team of researchers, IT developers, designers and data scientists develop solutions for sustainable development.