Spain’s Beli Simeon brings the art of ham carving to Beijing

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/29 5:03:06

Beli Simeon Photo: Courtesy of Echo Gao

There is a saying in Spanish, "El core es todo un arte," which translates to "carving ham is really an art."

Top Spanish ham carver Beli Simeon proved this saying during a visit to Beijing on July 18, during which time she shared her career experiences, and some Cinco Jotas (5J) ham, with media. 

Made from Iberian pigs raised on meals of acorns, 5J ham is the best known Spanish ham in the world due to its exquisite aroma and unique bouquet flavor, said Simeon.

According to Emily Li, the 5J brand's commercial director for HORECA & Retail, China has grown into the largest overseas market for 5J.

However, while ham carving has a long history and excellent reputation in Spain, it is still relatively unknown in China.

Simeon explained that it can take three to four years and five phases to make some 5J ham.

She emphasized that carving is critical to maximizing the meat's flavor and aroma by carving each piece at just the right size and thickness.

Born in a family in the ham business, Simeon showed great interest in ham at a young age, which led her to become a ham carver, a rare career choice for a woman.

Yet after years of hard training and work, she is now counted as one of the best carvers in Spain.

Posted in: Food

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