The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has announced the “Spanish Food Award for the Best Ham 2022”, which includes the modalities of “Best Acorn-fed Iberian Ham” and “Best Serrano Ham or other Figures of Recognized Quality.” With this award, which is celebrated biennially and which the ministry announces for the fourth time, we want to contribute to promoting quality ham, as well as improving its image and position in the market.
According to the extract of the call order published by the Official State Gazette (BOE), the owners of manufacturing companies that have their headquarters within the national territory may participate in the award, and they may compete for one or both modalities of the award. but only with one sample per modality.
Furthermore, the hams presented in the competition will be made by the contestant, who must justify that in the last three years they have made a minimum of 1,500 pieces per year.
The deadline for submitting applications will be three months from the day following the publication of the extract from the award call. Applications for participation must be addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and will be submitted, through the MAPA electronic registry, at the electronic headquarters.
This biennial award awarded in 2020, in the “Best Iberian Bellota Ham” category, the 100% Iberian acorn-fed ham “Juan Manuel Hernández, vintage 2016”, from the PDO Guijuelo (Salamanca). As for the “Best Serrano Ham or other Figures of Recognized Quality” it was won by the “Serrano Reserva Escámez” ham, from the ETG Jamón Serrano, presented by Hermanos Escámez Sánchez de Bullas (Murcia). No Extremaduran ham was selected as a finalist in that edition.
For the selection of the hams, a sensory evaluation was carried out that consisted of two phases, visual and olfactory-gustatory. Tasting panels were formed, each made up of five expert tasters who were coordinated by one of them and all the panels were directed by a technical tasting coordinator who established the common and specific criteria according to the type of award.
Likewise, once the sensory evaluation was completed, the technical tasting coordinator prepared a technical report with the results of the tests carried out, which was submitted to the presidency of the jury. Subsequently, the jury identified the finalist ham samples with their corresponding coding and based on all of the above, issued a report specifying the result of the evaluation.