Home    Number 4, 2020

Spanish Jamon: Cultural and Historical Aspects

Ispanskii khamon: istoriko- kul’turnyi aspekt]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150010831-4

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 07.05.20

Accepted: 26.05.20

About author(s)

Aleksander Kozhanovsky | https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1699-3660 | ankozhan49@yandex.ru | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (32a Leninsky prospekt, Moscow, 119991, Russia)


traditional Spanish cuisine, jamon, cultural identity, social role, value evolution


The article focuses on jamon – one of the most famous dishes of Spanish traditional cuisine, which has long been firmly established as a vivid manifestation of Spanish identity, and in recent decades as one of the elements that symbolize Spain. I discuss the reasons for the special attitude to jamon among the Spaniards, the specifics of its production and consumption in the past and present, its regional and other varieties, as well as the nature of changes occurring in the production of this product. Attention is paid to the phenomenon of duality of the social role of jamon as an element of “grassroots”, peas ant culture, and at the same time as an indicator of well-being and belonging to the “top” of society. I argue that jamon has been socially used as a means of asserting identity – namely, of cultural and religious identity in the past, and of national and state identity nowadays.


Kozhanovsky, A.N. 2020. Spanish Jamon: Cultural and Historical Aspects [Ispanskii khamon: istoriko-kul’turnyi aspekt]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 31–41. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150010831-4

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