Since the Middle Ages, the town of Guijuelo, in Salamanca, has been known for the production of the most delicious hams. And it is that the climate of the villa is ideal for a perfect drying and maturing. The Museum of Ham (of the Chacinera Industry) is the ideal place to know everything about this product, one of the most famous in Spain and in the world.
Guijuelo: the town of ham and pork meat
The town of Guijuelo is located at an altitude that exceeds a thousand meters, right at the top of the Iberian plateau. It is this privileged location that allows one of the star food products of Spain to be produced in Guijuelo: Iberian ham. This ham is so delicious that it is a product that is exported with great success to almost the whole world.
As we mentioned, Guijuelo’s climate, especially cold and dry winters, are ideal for drying and maturing ham. Although the production of this product has been present in the town since the Middle Ages, the truth is that in the last 100 years the industry has grown dramatically.
Today, Guijuelo is one of the most prominent places in Spain in the production of Iberian ham and also of other types of sausages related to pigs.
What you are going to discover at the Museum of the Meat Industry
The ham of Guijuelo origin must have certain characteristics, which allow them to project themselves as one of the most delicious hams in the country. All this information you will be able to know much more in depth when you visit the Museum of the Meat Industry, the real name of the place we are going to visit.
For ham with Guijuelo designation of origin, the cattle must be of the Iberian pig breed, or failing that, the cross of the Iberian breed (75%) and the Duroc-Jersey breed (25%). For acorn-fed Iberian ham, pigs must have a diet based on stubble, grass and feed until they reach 80 kilos. Then, until 160-180, the animal must be fed with montanera acorns and herbs.
The special diet gives the meat a unique and exquisite texture and flavor. It is a very careful process from the beginning, it is not in vain that it is one of the most delicious hams in the world, especially the acorn-fed Iberian ham.
Knowing the Ham Museum
The Guijuelo Ham Museum is an ideal space to learn a little more about the process of making sausages. In it you can learn from how the pastures are transformed for raising pigs to how the pork industry has evolved in the locality.
Divided into two parts, throughout the museum you can find a large amount of educational content to learn more about the history of ham. On the one hand, there is a part of audiovisual content with high-resolution video projections and interactive games.
On the other hand, there is an interesting exhibition divided into four sections. In it you can see, touch and smell samples of plant products related to the pasture and pork meat. There is also a wide collection of traditional sausage tools and machines that allow you to know how the production of pork meat has been.
Data of interest
This unique museum of ham and everything related to pork meat is open every day in the morning, but on weekends and holidays you must make a prior reservation. The visits are guided and last approximately an hour and a half. The price, two euros, with reduced entry for young people, retired people and groups.
You already know, if you plan to visit Salamanca and you are a lover of good gastronomy, in Guijelo you have a place that you will love, not only will you learn a lot about the preparation of hams and sausages, but you will be able to taste them and, of course, buy them in one from the establishments of the city, which is 50 kilometers from the capital of the province.
Cover photo: museo.guijuelo.es