Cecina is salt-cured, air-dried beef, and is truly a delicacy of Spain. The origin of the word cecina is not altogether clear. Some believe that it comes from the Latin siccus, meaning dry, while others believe it originates from the celtic ciercina, and is related to modern Spanish "cierzo" or North wind. The oldest written reference to cecina dates from the 4th century B.C. and the description of the process is the same as it is today. For centuries homes in the Maragara area (in the northwest of Spain) traditionally kept a dried beef leg in the larder to feed the family.
Although cecina can be made of other meats, such as goat, horse, bull or rabbit, the most common is made of the hind leg of beef.