Jamon, jamon, my world for jamon (pronounced hamon). I’ve never seen a culture so obsessed with cured meats. Especially Jamon Iberico which is everywhere. Nothing in common with the run of the mill jamon Serrano. They have an enclosure at the supermarket’s meat section which takes about half the space of the whole counter. Hanging in a special display like trophies, hooves and all, as opposed to American ones, they are sold bone in. Raging in prices from 75.00 Euros at the lower end and up to the ludicrous price of 300.00 Euros for the ultimate jamón Ibérico de bellota. You heard me right and it might seems crazy to us but for them it’s the ultimate go to for any occasions. Specially during the Holidays , that’s when they have boxes piled up high like a mighty mountain. A whole island in the middle of the market solely dedicated to it, they have shiny gift boxes for them including a special designer slicing rack (the jamonera). There’s even a slicing instruction booklet inserted for the slicing novice.
At home It is displayed proeminently on the kitchen counter for all to see and sample. In turn, throughout the day, everybody picks up the reserved knife and slices himself a paper thin portion of this soft, salty, flavorful treat chiping away at it until it needs to be turned on another side for optimum slicing action. And believe me it is a science, you have to have the perfect ratio of fat to meat to have the ultimate degree of chewing experience and they are really serious about it.
I never thought that a religion might someday involve a pig’s foot as a worshiped idol but here it is. If you want my opinion, I have had my share of prosciutto de Parma, the Italian counterpart of it and nothing compares to the almighty jamon Iberico de ballota, sorry my Italian friends but this guy is sold.