Ja­mon Ibérico De Bel­lota

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Food For Thought -

WHAT? Ja­mon Ibérico De Bel­lota, also known as acorn-fed Ibe­rian ham, is a type of Cuban ham made from black Ibe­rian pigs that are na­tive to Spain. An im­por­tant part of the Span­ish cul­ture, th­ese hams are an ac­claimed del­i­cacy for all that there is a sim­ple for­mula to achieve a ham this rich and nutty in flavour – pro­vide healthy pigs with the free­dom to roam where they please, al­low them to feast on the lands, sub­se­quen­tially “sac­ri­fice” them and then pro­ceed to cure the meat with lit­tle more than salt and air- it’s sim­ple but time con­sum­ing, yet oh so de­li­cious that ev­ery mo­ment is worth the wait for a taste of the Ja­mon Ibérico De Bel­lota. WHY? It is not merely the unique flavour­ing of the ham that al­lows it to be auc­tioned off un­der the high­est price, but the en­tire process of sourc­ing pure black Ibe­rian pigs, tend­ing to them, pro­vid­ing them with a ‘De­hesa’, a large for­est par­tially con­verted to a pas­ture that houses oak and cork trees, so the pigs may freely roam across the near two thou­sand acres of land con­sum­ing acorns, herbs and grasses to their de­sire. Once the pigs reach their ideal goal, they are then “sac­ri­ficed” and the cur­ing process be­gins. The pigs spend a day in salt for ev­ery kilo­gram of meat, be­fore be­ing rinsed off and kept in a cur­ing fa­cil­ity with thou­sands of other Ibe­rian ham, and there they lay for 3 years in cool cham­bers. Even if the meat isn’t to your taste, you have to ad­mit that the work put into a sin­gle slice of ham is ex­tra­or­di­nary. WHERE? The Ja­mon Ibérico De Bel­lota may be a type of Cuban ham, how­ever the true ori­gin of the ham is that it hails from the Ibe­rian coun­tries of Spain and Por­tu­gal. Eat­ing slices of ham from the var­i­ous ven­dors in a Barcelona food bazaar, with a glass of wine by your side un­der the Span­ish sun may seem like the only ideal way to eat Ja­mon Ibérico De Bel­lota, how­ever due to its uniquely suc­cu­lent and dis­tinc­tively flavoured ham, Spain ex­ports the ham to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets for eas­ier con­sump­tion, should you feel like treat­ing your­self to some­thing truly spe­cial. HOW MUCH? A hefty leg of the Ja­mon Ibérico De Bel­lota weigh­ing in at around 6.7 kilo­grams will cost you ap­prox­i­mately USD 1,100. in­clud­ing the bone, while a shoul­der of the ham weigh­ing in at around 4.5 kilo­grams should be priced on an aver­age of USD 560. Spain has re­cently seen to it an in­crease in the price of the up­scale ham as the na­tion’s econ­omy is slowly scal­ing back up af­ter the eco­nomic cri­sis be­tween 2008 and 2013, and this has seen a hike in the price of ex­ported Ja­mon Ibérico De Bel­lota. This may change in the fu­ture, how­ever as of now, the price is right.

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