The Quest for Jamón Ibérico
My lifelong search for the best charcuterie in the world
Let me just preface by saying that anyone who disagrees with the fact that fat is flavor has clearly never tried this divine food.
Jamón Ibérico comes from the southern most part of Spain where they feed a specific breed (Iberian) pigs, a.k.a. Black Hoof Pigs acorns during the later part of their lives.
Similarly to how real Kobe (from Japan not Colorado) are fed grass and beer and are massaged, combed, and lead an overall good life, this is the most prized Jamón in the world.
From the first time I tried this in Spain probably 7 years ago I knew that I had discovered something that I would lead a lifelong trek trying to procure as much as possible.
Sadly I don’t live in Spain since there they give giant multi-pound legs of the food gold to newly weds or new home owners. Of course there it maybe a few hundred euros for a leg while here in America it would be a few thousand dollars for the same amount.
In the words of the great Jamón is described as being “ Pornographically Delicious” — Anthony Bourdain and I couldn’t agree more
Therefore when my mom was going on a 16 day european cruise and was ending in Barcelona I knew that I had to see if she could bring some back (legally of course)… I had attempted to save it for a special occasion but on that faithful Sunday morning when I had some Tartine and poached eggs and no protein I knew the Jamón didn’t stand a chance.
People often say that a certain sound or smell can trigger a nostalgic memory and transport them across time and space. After not having had this food for a little over 3 years I knew as soon as I opened the package that I was instantly back in Spain. The incredible marbling and intense intramuscular fat creates an extremely focused and well balanced experience. As the Jamón ages the moisture is drawn out of the meat and therefore intensifies the flavor. Therefore after the appropriate aging and exquisitely sliced the final result is something that warrants the title of “Best Jamón in the world”