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Jamon iberico

The good stuff. "Ham" from a special breed of pigs, ideally fed on acorns. Not legal for sale in the US until a few years ago. Silly me, I didn't find any in Spain when I was there. I did have some last year, in a meat and cheese bar in Providence, of all places; tasty, but didn't think it worth the price. I think I've bought alleged iberico in Chile, but don't remember if it seemed plausibly genuine.

Well, Trader Joe's has it now, in packs of 2 oz for $5.99, which is $48/pound, or the most expensive foodstuff I know of short of saffron. (Blake and I ordered an ounce of that online for $40, whic is a bulk discount; if you buy off the shelf you're likely seeing $240/oz effective price, or fraud.) More expensive than bulk herbs and spices... actually, I suspect iberico is best treated as something of a spice, i.e. a garnish, or else something you savor in small bits for its flavor, vs. piling in a 4oz heavenly ham sandwich...

It's just "jamon iberico", so I assume it's the lowest grade, which matches what Wikipedia says about the likely prices. Still pretty tasty. And if you're into ethical carnivory, I imagine these pigs have had as good a life as any...

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
harimad
May. 22nd, 2014 01:01 pm (UTC)
Iberico, like proscuitto, is used in small quantities and for the same reasons. It's very strong, very condensed, and very expensive. It's also very delicious.

On a related note: one of my best food scores was the bone from a leg of proscuitto. I was in a fancy deli that had a leg of proscuitto rather than having a deboned piece. The leg was mostly used up (little meat left and what there was was mostly dried out) so I asked what they were planning to do with the bone. The end result was I bought the bone and the remaining meat for about 30% of the meat's price. I cut off what I could and made stock from the rest. It made amazing risotto.
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