Handmade from African Sapele Hardwood
An elegant Salamanca ham holder is the ideal platform to present Spain's finest hams for carving. This jamonero is made of solid hardwood, which is over an inch thick, and sparkling chrome hardware. A beautiful carved acorn forms the handle for the bolt securing the jamón. Igoal ham holders are the standard against which all other jamoneros are judged.
Over the years we have visited dozens of highly respected suppliers of Spain's famed jamón. We noticed that often the best hams were presented in a holder made in a small shop in Guijuelo, Salamanca, called Igoal.
Within this workshop, Don Paulino Pantaleon, his wife Isabel Gomez Alonso, son Marcos and daughter Elisa have being designing and creating these jamoneros for decades. The artistry of the Pantaleon family is extraordinary. It is easy to see why so many fine restaurants in Spain insist on having their work: they provide great utility for the ham carver, are made of the highest quality materials and have a distinctive unifying design.
Don Paulino Pantaleon is one Spain's master ham carvers. He is highly revered in Japa, where Spanish jamón is viewed as a culinary treasure. His wife Isabel and their son and daughter work together to make the wooden ham stands from an extremely hardwood from the Sapele forests of Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. This dense wood, which is harder than African mahogany, is one and one half inches thick so that it is heavy enough to make slicing a joy.
Our favorite touch is the hand-carved acorn - or bellota - that completes the fastener which holds the ham in place. This references the favorite food of the Ibérico pigs that wander the dehesa forests of western Spain.