THE CURING PROCESS of the Ibérico ham takes an astonishing two years. In ancient times the ham legs were packed in sea salt and hanged to dry in the cool winter air. Today ham legs are packed in salt for a few weeks, then under the watchful eye of ham maestros, hung in drying chambers with open windows to allow the mountain air to flow, natural flora to grow on the skins and fat to drip away. Unlike prosciutto or Parma ham, Ibérico ham is not covered in lard for the curing process, nor any other external ingredient that would affect its inherent flavor.