Spanish ham slicer slashes Guinness record

A young Spanish cortador, or ham slicer, broke all records on Monday when he spent more than 25 hours at the knife.

Spanish ham slicer slashes Guinness record
Noé Bonillo, from Valencia, broke the previous ham slicing record of 24 hours and 54 minutes. Screen grab: YouTube

Slicing ham (jamón) is a serious business in Spain.

There is a name for the professionals who ply the trade — they are called cortadores — and there are regular competitions.

There is even a national association of ham slicers which boasts Swiss knife makers Victorinox among its sponsors.

Now, though, a young man from Spain’s Valencia region has taken the art to a whole new level — at least in terms of endurance.

Paris-based Noé Bonillo on Monday beat the Guinness record for time spent slicing hams, clocking up more than 25 hours at the knife, according to Spain’s Diaro de Mallorca newspaper.

By doing so he beat the previous record of 24 hours and 45 minutes.

A “happy” Bonillo said after the event that tiredness had been kept at bay by the encouragement of people around him.

And this was no mean feat: the cortador had been training specifically for the event  since summer in bursts of up to 30 hours.

Under the watchful gaze of both a personal trainer and the manager of the Paris restaurant where he works, the ambidextrous Bonillo practiced the repetitive slicing movements over and over again.

Now the work has paid off.

This was “a record for the whole team” said the jamón slicer after the ordeal was over.

Without them “it would haven’t been possible”, he added.

As for all the ham Bonillo sliced from the bone, it will now be donated to the Benedictine nuns of Montmartre Sacre Coeur.   

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Recipe: How to make Spain’s classic croquetas de jamón

January 16th is officially Internationally Croquette Day.

Recipe: How to make Spain's classic croquetas de jamón

The golden crunchy snack has its very own international day of celebration so make sure to devour at least one plate of the Spanish speciality this week. 

You can find meaty versions, fishy versions and even vegetarian croquetas but by far the most popular filling is the traditional jamón iberico. 

So for those of you who don't feel like leaving the house in search of these tasty morsels, here's how to make them at home. 

Peruse any Spanish menu and you are likely to find the classic croquetas de jamón – the golden crunchy outside containing a deliciously creamy filling. 

Luis Valerio from lets us in to the secret of how to make a perfect croquette. 


– Half an onion

– Two eggs (hard boiled)

– Four tbsp olive oil

– Three oz of serrano ham (pieces)

– ¼ tsp salt

– ¼ cup olive oil

– Three oz of flour (all-purpose)

– ½ litre of milk

– One tsp of salt

– Two eggs (medium)

– Breadcrumbs (dried)

– One cup of vegetable oil 



Hard boil eggs to your liking and then peel and chop.

Peel and chop finely half an onion.

Chop finely the Serrano ham pieces or slices.

Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. When warm add chopped onion, Serrano ham, hard-boiled eggs and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook over low heat for 10 – 12 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pot with the onion.

Once warm add the all-purpose flour and cook over low heat for three to five minutes whisking constantly with a balloon whisk until the mixture is smooth and turns a light, golden colour.

Slowly (1/4 a cup for each time) add the room temperature milk to the pot with the mixture and cook over medium heat whisking constantly. Season with one teaspoon of salt.

Bring it to a boil and cook over medium heat for four to five minutes stirring continuously (taste and add more salt if needed). If the béchamel sauce is gritty, use the blender to make it smooth.

Photo: Tim Lucas/Flickr 

Set the béchamel aside and let it cool for around three hours or until firm.

Whisk eggs in a bowl and put breadcrumbs on a plate.

Shape a tablespoonsful of mixture and roll in breadcrumbs.

Dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs again.

Heat one cup of vegetable oil in a skillet. When hot add croquettes in batches and fry until golden (one to two minutes each side).

Transfer croquettes to a plate.

Serve warm and enjoy your Spanish ham croquettes recipe!

(Note: You don't have to eat your croquettes all at once – although it is tempting! You can freeze them before frying).