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News | Jul 17 2019

Ibérico Ham Takes Center Stage in Japan

Japanese hospitality sector professionals participated in the popular ham carving competitions and seminars in Osaka and Tokyo

Ibérico Ham Takes Center Stage in Japan

Japanese trade professionals in the hospitality industry recently took part in two special events inspired by the flavors of Spain: the 7th edition of the Ibérico Ham Carving Competition and the 11th edition of the Ibérico Ham Carving Seminar. In total, over 130 people took part in the activities, which were sponsored by leading companies such as Cinco Jotas, Ibériberico, and Ibedul.

These activities were held in Osaka and Tokyo and were organized through EXTENDA, the trade promotion agency for Andalusia. The winners of the carving competition were Satoshi Taguchi in Osaka and Kouta Oguma in Tokyo. They will travel to Andalusia next year to learn all about Ibérico ham, from advanced carving techniques to how it’s made. The idea is that then they will return to Japan and help promote it to local consumers.

The seminar welcomed 93 trade professionals, who were able to learn about ham in more detail, where it comes from and how it’s produced. This annual activity is very popular, and since it was first held back in 2007, over 2,700 people have participated, mainly restaurant owners, bartenders, and chefs.

The overall goal of these activities is twofold: to boost Ibérico ham consumption in Japan and to strengthen the presence of Andalusian companies in that country. Japan is an important market for this product, as it’s the world’s leading importer or pork and ranks 5th in terms of cold cut imports, according to the FAO.

Ibérico Ham Takes Center Stage in Japan / Photo by: Matt Seymour

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