Jamon Ibérico De Bellota
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.