Anyone tried a Spanish ham?

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black jack
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Anyone tried a Spanish ham?

Post by black jack »

My in-laws just returned from a trip to Spain, and waxed enthusiastic about the ham (among other things).

I see Costco has a Serrano ham available for around $190 (for 11 lbs!). It's cheaper than flying to Spain to try it, but still...anyone have any experience with these?

It would have to be very good, since not only is it pricey, but I'd also have to work out something with the wife - no way she's going to let me keep a ham out in the open for six weeks while I carve slices off it.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)
metacritic
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Post by metacritic »

$190 for 11 pounds suggests that it isn't the truly great stuff - the Bellota Pate Negra - which can go for 150 euros a kilo even in Spain!

And it is sublime. But you might be looking at a really good jamon Iberico, which is nothing to sniff at either.
rylemdr
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Post by rylemdr »

metacritic wrote:$190 for 11 pounds suggests that it isn't the truly great stuff - the Bellota Pate Negra - which can go for 150 euros a kilo even in Spain!

And it is sublime. But you might be looking at a really good jamon Iberico, which is nothing to sniff at either.
I second the Iberico..

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baw703916
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Post by baw703916 »

From my somewhat limited knowledge, Iberico is the top grade of ham, and Serrano is a lower grade (good, but not the same level).

To elaborate on an earlier post, bellota means acorn in Spanish, and that is what the animals used to make iberico ham must be fed (by law, for it to be called iberico).

Another alternative you might consider is the iHam. :D A pretty funny video!

I'm not sure you really want to buy 11 pounds of something before seeing how much you like it.

Brad
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dbonnett
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Post by dbonnett »

A lot like Italian Prosciutto. Razor thin. Appetizer. Throughout Spain many of the rural homes have their own drying crib/shed. Once a necessity, now a status symbol.
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Post by mamster »

I think Spanish hams are the world's best. However, I wouldn't buy a whole one unless you have an electric meat slicer or are experienced with slicing this type of ham by hand. It's not like American country ham, where a kinda thick rustic slice is divine.

If you're in a major metro area, there's probably a deli counter near you where you can try some Serrano sliced to order.
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Post by Captain_Video »

I buy Boar's Head brand at my local Publix deli for around $22/lb. It's pretty good; a lot like Proscuitto di Parma (I like the Serrano a little better). It has to be sliced very thin. It's a good appetizer along with Queso Manchego, Spanish olives and a dry Fino Sherry (Tio Pepe my favorite).
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black jack
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Post by black jack »

Thanks for providing the voice of reason. I will check out the ham in small portions first, and perhaps always (I have learned of a place in town that sells the really good stuff, the Bellota).

This discussion has also whetted my appetite to try the prosciutto di Parma. Good things to look forward to.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)
dbonnett
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Post by dbonnett »

Fat percentage can vary widely. Look before you commit. Ask for a few slices. If you like what you see, ask for more.
letsgobobby
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Post by letsgobobby »

I tried a number of hams in Spain, including Iberico and Serrano. They are extremely flavorful and I found them a bit gamey. Not in a bad way - just very intense - like an umami bomb if there ever was one. I could not see myself eating 11 pounds of the stuff. But we did buy 200 grams along with some manchego cheese and chewy bread and made a divine little picnic out of it.
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Post by Fear and Loathing »

EA3RKR is a good guy and he sends QSLs promptly
pingo
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Re: Anyone tried a Spanish ham?

Post by pingo »

Don't have a clue where you live, but you might try to hunt down a local Spanish carniceria (meat shop). They're not everywhere, but you never know.

We have one not too far from us called La Espanola Meats, which is where we got chorizo from Pamplona. (Mmmmm...Spanish chorizoooo.)
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Post by V572625694 »

This post may possible have made me hungrier than this one: http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=905314
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