Since the Middle Age there are references of the relevance of the pork in the European economies and it is even said that the romans exported the ham out of Hispania.
In La Rioja (Spain) the pig was slaughtered in a traditional way since immemorial time.
Our grandparents have transmitted us that families would get together during the month of September, in order to sacrifice the pigs that they had raised during that year. At that time the economies were of survival and each member of the family would celebrate this event.
The animal was slaughtered with manual tools and it would be the main food source for the whole family during that year.
Once the pig had been bled out and had died, it would be burned with ferns. Every pig piece was of benefit and used to elaborate different products.
The most precious parts of the pig were both hind legs and those pieces would receive a more special treatment.
In La Rioja, since ancient times, there is a specialty called PAPRIKA HAM..
The identity sign of this ham and what differentiated it from the rest of Spanish hams was its thin layer of paprika.
Traditionally, in La Rioja, when the slaughtering took place, the ham pieces would suffer the following manufacturing process:
The selected raw hind legs were taken to the salting tables, so once they had been covered with coarse salt, they would be pressed and kept the necessary time according to each piece’s weight. Once the salting process had finished, the piece would be covered one more time with a natural preservative: the sweet paprika.
Finally the curation process was completed in the drying rooms, letting the piece air-dried, whether in the bodega or with the cold and dry air of the mountains.
The sausage industry of La Rioja has remained loyal to the paprika ham elaboration, using machinery that the technological development has allowed, but maintaining the traditional manufacturing process in industrial drying rooms at a controlled temperature.
Martínez Somalo is the leader in the sale of this product and has been producing it for 116 years, following the artisan and natural process inherited from its ancestors, from our great-grandfather José Martínez Campo.
The paprika gives the ham a special flavor, but soft on the palate and very tasty. It is a quality product, natural and, above all, very yummy!
The Martínez Somalo Paprika ham is traded under the name of La Gloria Riojana, because it is the name of the company founded by our great-grand father and is, besides, our most ancient trademark. It has been registered since 1921 and is dedicated, as a tribute, to our founder and to our most traditional products.