26 07 2007

unlike it’s cousin, jamon serrano, jamon iberico can’t be found in the u.s. it’s one of those rare gustatory pleasures that can only be sampled abroad in its native country or in a country with more relaxed food regulations.

i learned about jamon iberico, or cured ham made from black iberian pigs after i went to spain. and i was heartbroken. sure, i knew about lechon de leche, i had experienced the pleasures of aged manchegos, and the various mariscos like gambas, chiperones, etc. but jamon iberico? tough, tough rules govern the importation of unpasteurized cheeses and funkily cured hams.

i finally got to experience the fatty wonder that is jamon iberico de bellota at the camino real’s casa castellano in mexico. this may be the highlight of highlights as far as business trips are concerned. it was on the menu and i had to order a plate. delectable. one more food item crossed off my list.

frankly, i don’t know why they’re not allowed in to the united states (at least not until 2008, according to egullet). all i know is that from acorn fed, free-roaming pigs comes some deliciously oily ham.




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