Seville, Spain, Jun 7 (EFE).- As ham slicing has always been considered an art that goes beyond a sharp knife, Spain is working to get aspiring ham cutters certified to give them a leg-up in the industry.
The Spanish academy of jamón (Acesjam) has partnered up with the government to start specific training courses that would make ham cutters access the job market as qualified professionals.
This decision coincides with the XI World Congress of Ham, which will be held from June 8 to 10 in the city of Segovia.
“We are importing and giving away our culture and gastronomy,” Acesjam president Sergio Bellido tells Efe.
“When abroad, we have always been hindered by not having any academic certificate that recognizes our profession, except for the various awards won on a private level,” he says.
By 2025, at least 49% of jobs will require an intermediate qualification, according to the Spanish ministry of education.
The new vocational training program is set to have five qualification phases: the first is a partial accreditation of competence, the second is the certificate of competence, the third is a professional certificate, the fourth is a training cycle and the last is a specialization course.
This program will let aspiring ham cutters in on all the ins and outs of ham; how it is prepared, preserved, cut, and presented.
Bellido explains that he and his wife Silvia Garcia Reinado set up a tasting team at the University of Cordoba in 2016 to show the ham cutting technique and that the taste depends on how well the ham is sliced.
“If this is ours, why not defend it and train future cutters,” Bellido points out.EFE