3 knives are required. One with large and strong blade for the preparation and cleaning of the ham. A second with an elongated, narrow and flexible blade, for slicing. And a third with a short, strong blade, for cutting close to the bone.
The slices must be small and as fine as possible, making sure they contain the intramuscular fat to make them more succulent. The line of the cut should be uniform, towards the trotter or downwards. As a means of precaution, make sure that the knife blade is facing away from you.
Regardless of the time required for consumption, the ham must always have a clean edge and profile, to avoid a rancid taste and the forming of useless rind. If you stop cutting, the cut area must be protected with some pieces of fat and rind, kept from the initial cut, so that the fat on the surface always remains fresh.
The ham should not be eaten cold (loss of taste), and should not be stored in the refrigerator. You should not cut more ham than you want to eat at any one time. If we want the Iberian ham to bestow us with all its flavour, instead of serving it on a cold dish, we recommend you heat the surface with warm water, which will exalt the excellent flavour of the ham.
Before starting, let’s get to know the main areas or pieces of ham; the maza (rump), the contramaza (opposite the rump), the punta (hip) and the codillo (hind shank).