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It comes from the front leg of the Iberian pig fed with acorn in montanera and bred in freedom. The paleta (shoulder) is somewhat smaller than ham and requires a shorter curing process, lasting a maximum of 36 months. The processing is completely natural and traditionally cured in natural dryers with long curing processes.
To preserve it once opened, we defend the traditional way. Cut a thin slice of fat from the same ham and cover the part you have opened with it. Normally, it is recommended to put a cotton cloth, however, we always prefer to recommend putting a layer of film on top always trying to keep it in a dry and cool place (optimum temperature between 15º and 18º).
Uses and cutting
If you are going to open it at home, you will open it with the hoof up or down depending on the amount of ham you are going to consume. Our recommendation is that you open the leg of the ham or the paleta (shoulder) with the hoof down because it is the most cured part and should be consumed first, however, if you are going to be enough people or you are going to offer ham or paleta at an event, start to slicing with the hoof down because the cut has more presence.
To cut it, use a support that holds the leg of the ham firm and begins to cut it with a long, sharp and flexible knife. Make sure that the hand opposite the knife is always above the other and make slow movements without applying too much force allowing the knife to slide. The slices should be thin, medium size and with intramuscular fat.