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Trevélez is a Spanish municipality in the province of Granada. It is located in the northern part of the Alpujarra region. It has approximately 750 inhabitants.
Most of its municipal area belongs to the Sierra Nevada National Park. It is also the highest village in the Iberian Peninsula.
First of all, Trevelez is one of the towns about which more history is known. Its origin for the challenges encountered would be the Neolithic.
But really its exact origin is still unknown. We do know that its name comes from Latin: “inter-valles”. Therefore its name is of Roman origin, besides in the village there are remains from the 3rd century.
As in the rest of Andalusia the arrival of the Muslims was very important. Because with their arrival the current Trevelez is configured. They introduced the irrigation system. Which helped to shape the landscape that today, with terraced crops, a plain around the village.
In addition the population center divided into three neighborhoods. This heritage survives in many aspects, but above all in the way it was built.
With the arrival of the Catholic Kings and the Conquest of the Kingdom of Granada, the Christian armies entered the Alpujarra. However, they did not reach Trevélez. So the population continued to be Muslim.
In 1500 the Catholic Kings forced the Muslims to become Christians. This is how the Moors appeared, the name given to the Muslims who had theoretically converted to Christianity. However, they continued with their old religion in secret. Until the Moorish rebellion broke out in the Alpujarra region in the 16th century.
The Moors of Trevelez rise up and take refuge in the Sierra Nevada. And from the mountains they survive as bandits against the Christian troops.
With the definitive defeat of the Moors, King Felipe II decides to expel them definitively from Granada. To avoid the depopulation of the territory, new people are sought to populate Trevelez. Many people came from the North of the Peninsula, but also from closer regions such as Murcia, Valencia or Castile.
In the seventeenth century the repopulation is strengthened and life is peaceful and isolated.
Then at the end of the 18th century is when travellers and explorers of the Sierra Nevada begin to appear. Their expeditions began from Trevelez. And this situation will have its biggest peak in the following century (XIX) because the romantic travellers, especially the English. They will create a bucolic and idyllic aura of this region, talking about Moors, legends and telling myths that still remain.
All you would know about Trevelez Ham
The I.G.P. Jamón de Trevélez is a type of ham with a denomination that has been produced and elaborated in the southeast of the province of Granada.
Hams from Trevelez are guaranteed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food through the Specific Quality Denomination or I.G.P. and controlled by its Regulatory Council through the black, red or blue seal that includes a unique number for each piece.
This type of ham has been recognised for over two hundred years. That is why we can find countless bibliographical references since the 19th century. Furthermore, it culminated in the recognition of the quality of the Trevélez Ham in 1862 by Queen Isabel II.
At present, in Trevelez and some surrounding villages, there are companies dedicated to the production of this type of ham. Some of them are more than half a century old.
Jamon de Trevélez owes its particular organoleptic characteristics to the natural environment in which it is produced.
– Ham from white pigs, with leg and rind, rounded in shape.
– Weighing between 7 and 9 kg
– Curing depends on the weight of the piece and is between 15-18 months to 20-24 months.
– The muscle mass, a few “white pints”, is a guarantee of maximum quality.
– It is one of the hams with the least amount of salt, so it has a low salt content.
– No preservatives or colourings are added.
– The colour of the meat is bright red, with fat partially infiltrated into the muscle mass.
– The fat is white-yellowish in colour and melts easily on the palate, giving it a very special flavour.
– The slices look shiny when cut.
– It also helps to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood.