Jamon Serrano smells awful


I don't know a thing about cured ham, but I just opened this ham, and while I realize a cured ham probably has a peculiar smell, I can't imagine this horrific stench being intended. My entire apartment smells like a trashcan on a hot day, and the ham has both black and green spots on it. Seven meters away, the smell is still strong enough that it just about makes me gag, and every instinct I have is telling me this is not edible.

tl;dr: are jamon serrano hams supposed to smell overpoweringly like old mouldy food, or did I just blow $80 and a perfectly good towel on a worthless chunk of rot?

This is what it looks like:
Questionable Jamón Serrano ham

Follow-up: I've been in contact with the store, and I'm going to go get a refund. I showed the ham to some knowledgeable people in real life as well, and they agreed that it's spoiled. Thanks a huge lot for all your helpful answers!

Best Answer

The green from the picture looks.. strange. I'd expect a brand/tattoo, but not a green spot like that.

It should also not be dry and flaky. It has been cured with salt, so that may be what you're seeing.

Some hams will smell weird right out of the packaging. I don't think I've experienced one as bad as you're describing, though, but it could be the mold. I suggest cleaning off the mold and slicing it to see how the fat looks. Yellow fat is rancid and will stink. The fat should be white.

You might see yellow on the outside and white on the inside. In any case, the yellow shouldn't be more than a couple of millimeters wide in a slice. Just to be clear: DON'T EAT THE YELLOW FAT.

--answering your comment on another answer - the "outside" part of the ham will have skin or just fat, but the "inside" part will have exposed meat, and bone. Sometimes that will be covered with plastic or fabric, but you should take that off and clean the ham since it smells.

Also, cut and discard a vertical slice from the exposed side before you get ready to cut slices so you don't have to cut it off the individual slices. You can do the same for the yellow fat, but be careful not to cut all the fat off. A smaller knife makes this easier.