A few months ago I was given a generous amount of what I expect will be amazing Iberian jamon de bellota by a friend who brought it home from, I believe, London. It is boneless, sliced and vacuum packed. The packaging does not seem to have been compromised in any way. I have kept it in my pantry since receiving it with the intention of serving it tonight (New Year's Eve).
I was surprised to see today that the package says to keep it in the refrigerator (5 - 10 celsius) and remove 20 minutes before serving to allow to come to room temp. I had not noticed that before and feel fairly sure it was not kept cool by my friend on the trip from England to the states.
Did I screw up by not putting this in the fridge? It never occured to me to do so given the way it was packaged and based on what I saw in tapas bars in Barcelona.
Any assurance that I have not wasted what has been hard to come by and waited so long for will be most appreciated.