For the 9th theartofsake Sake On-nomi, we will be doing a session pairing aged ham pairing with Japanese Sake.
Ham is the cured leg of pork, and may be fresh, cured, or cured-and-smoked. Fresh ham is an uncured leg of pork. The usual color for cured ham is deep rose or pink; fresh ham (which is not cured) has the pale pink or beige color of a fresh pork roast; country hams and prosciutto (which are dry cured) range from pink to a mahogany color.
The art of curing ham was first documented by Roman historian Cato the Elder in the third century BC. This method preserves the meat and allows it to last for months. The dry-curing process involves rubbing salt into the pork before drying it. Hams can also be aged in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room for at least 45 days or for as long as five years. Hams that are aged longer gives it a dryer texture, deeper colour and stronger flavour and umami.
The aged hams we are tasting today are provided by Cavemen Butchery Singapore. Cavemen have been our partner since 2017. Nestled along Balestier road near the corner of Thomson Road, they are a nice butchery, restaurant and bar. These fine aged hams we are tasting today are specially curated by Cavemen Butchery that are freshly sliced off the Prosciutto di Parma and Jamon Iberico de Bellota.
As cured hams tend to be salty, and filled with umami, it is no surprise that sake does pair well with them! As hams are aged longer, the oils and fats get more tasty and complex, and the umami in sake is great to complement this flavour. Also, salt tends to bring out more flavours from Sake!
We have 5 x 80ml of sample sakes in a tasting flight with 20g of each aged ham. For the full bottle set, we will include 5 bottles of sake together with include 100g of each aged ham.
We will be running a Zoom Live Video Conference for the Aged Ham & Sake On-nomi on Wednesday, 5 August 2020. The event will start at 8pm. The room will launch at 7:45pm for networking. To join, please purchase our Tasting Set or Full Bottle Set at our website.
We will sms/whatsapp you the zoom meeting room on the day before the meeting! Meeting details will also be included in the tasting sets together with the Sake Details and Tasting notes.
Please note: the tasting sets will only be sent out during the late afternoon of the event day. We will bottle the samples that day to keep it as fresh as possible.
Aged Ham & Sake Selection
1. PARMA HAM - 20 months
Pio Tosini's standard cure is 500 days. 100 days longer than required by the Consorzio. This extra ging time allows them to use less salt in the curing process and produces a sweeter tasting ham. This sweet ham is cured in the town of Langhirano, Italy.
This ham is delicate, floral, with hints of cherry. It is an easy pairing, which we went with Keigetsu Junmai Ginjo Ginnoyume to gently coax more flavour from the ham.
2. PARMA HAM - 24 months
Devodier, Ancient Cellars Del Mornello. In this cellar the moon dictates the finishing time. There is no rush, excellence demands patience. Thanks to its six-metre depth, its location between the river bed and the marls of the hills, with the long-weathered fir wood framing this cellar, it becomes a small temple of taste.
This ham has quiet umami through its flavourful fats, with some hints of smoked fruit like apple. We paired this with Echizen Misaki Daiginjo Kinsho as they seems to have certain similarities in flavour.
3. PARMA HAM - 30 months
Devodier, Ancient Cellars Del Mornello. A real tiny “dungeon”, to satisfy the senses of our most discerning customers. Completely underground, without windows, where the path ends and the final touch is given to an "aristocratic" product with a never-ending curing. These hams are part of a very limited edition.
Flavours of Apricot, with silky smooth texture. Nutty at the finish. We paired this with Senkin Junmai Daiginjo Issei as the smoothness complements each other.
4. JAMON IBERICO - 36 months
Brilliant and uniform, with excellent fat coverage.
The slices are deep red in colour, spotted by tyrosine, the amino acid that crystallises as a result of an excellent curing process. Juicy texture, very pleasant in the mouth.Tender but firm: it preserves its structure while chewed. Potent, pleasant, specific, attractive aromas. Long-lasting, very marked and clear. At the base, there are very frank notes of fresh nuts.
Complex flavours with notes of sun-dried tomato. We get chestnuts on the finish. We paired this with Kawatsuru Junmai Ginjo Olive as the umami complements the oils in the ham. Remember to take a big sip as the flavour of this ham goes on and on.
5. JAMON IBERICO - 60 months
100% Pure Acorn Fed. The slices are deep red in colour, spotted by tyrosine, the amino acid that crystallises as a result of an excellent curing process.
Juicy texture, very pleasant in the mouth. Potent, pleasant, specific, attractive aromas. Long-lasting, very marked and clear. A fine, personal, balanced, tasty flavour. This is an elegant ham, its key flavours are already present while still in mid-palate. Sweeter finish, with hints of nuts after tasting.
This is quite the powerhouse in terms of umami. Chewy and reminds us of bak kwa. We paired this 60month Jamon with Nihonsakari Junmai Ginjo Souhana, As the Souhana balances out the rich flavour, and does remove a lot of the oiliness.