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Jamon Iberico


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#1 bloviatrix

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 07:25 PM

The Spanish government has just approved the first Jamón Ibérico production facility that meets USDA standards for export to the United States. LaTienda.com, a family-owned gourmet Spanish food retailer based in Williamsburg, VA, will fly in the first Ibérico products as soon as they are available.
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#2 Wilfrid1

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 07:39 PM

That will signify a improvement in the quality of life. Did some comparison ham tastings on my trip to Madrid a few weeks back: it's the way the fat melts on your tongue... :o
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#3 mitchells

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 08:46 PM

Note that this stuff will be super expensive, at least early on. I think upwards of $50 per lb.

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#4 mitchells

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 08:53 PM

Just looked up the price at La Tienda. $59 per lb bone in and $69 per lb boneless. They are basically selling futures because it won't be available until 2007.

So Wilf is going to have to find something else to melt on his tongue until then. :o

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#5 Wilfrid1

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 08:56 PM

That sounds about right. Jamon Serrano is selling in the States for about $30 per lb. A quarter pound is more than enough for a serving - a big plate of Jamon Iberico for $12.50 seems entirely fair. I can't swear to it, but I think I was paying about 18 euros for a racion in Madrid this summer.
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#6 guajolote

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 09:21 PM

That will signify a improvement in the quality of life. Did some comparison ham tastings on my trip to Madrid a few weeks back: it's the way the fat melts on your tongue... :o

you dared to eat jamon that wasn't USDA approved? lucky you're still alive.

#7 Wilfrid1

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 09:35 PM

Lucky Spain has a population greater than zero, in that case.
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#8 Kikujiro

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 09:59 PM

I bought some Iberico from Jamonissimo in Barcelona two days ago. It was €148/kg, or abour $82/lb (hand sliced).
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#9 Kikujiro

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 10:02 PM

... and last time I checked the better stuff from Brindisa in Borough, also hand-sliced price, was about £120/kilo, or $100/lb.
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#10 Silly Disciple

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 10:05 PM

I bought some Iberico from Jamonissimo in Barcelona two days ago. It was €148/kg, or abour $82/lb (hand sliced).

So, which D.O. did you get and what did you think of them?
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#11 Kikujiro

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 10:14 PM

Them? :o

Salamanca. While the quality was excellent, I was a bit disappointed with J'ssimo. My benchmark to that date had been Bellota-Bellota in Paris (there are a couple of branches; similar prices). They always have 3-4 hams on the go, and offer much advice and many tastes in advance of purchase. My lack of Spanish and the serving lady's lack of English reduced the advice, but while there were three hams available in theory, one was pretty much finished (she advised against), and one not yet started (and she didn't want to). Hence there was only one ham they were actually selling hand-sliced. Thus no ability to compare different DOs. What's more, I was never offered a taste and in the end had to demand one from the stuff I'd bought before she wrapped it.

B-B is at the least very close on quality and based on that one experience far superior in range and buying experience.
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#12 Silly Disciple

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 10:22 PM

Them? :o

Salamanca. While the quality was excellent, I was a bit disappointed with J'ssimo. My benchmark to that date had been Bellota-Bellota in Paris (there are a couple of branches; similar prices). They always have 3-4 hams on the go, and offer much advice and many tastes in advance of purchase. My lack of Spanish and the serving lady's lack of English reduced the advice, but while there were three hams available in theory, one was pretty much finished (she advised against), and one not yet started (and she didn't want to). Hence there was only one ham they were actually selling hand-sliced. Thus no ability to compare different DOs. What's more, I was never offered a taste and in the end had to demand one from the stuff I'd bought before she wrapped it.

B-B is at the least very close on quality and based on that one experience far superior in range and buying experience.

I agree, customer service is lacking at best, even when you speak Spanish. I guess I need to learn Catalan faster. They usually have 2 out of 3 hams "open", but it does happen sometimes that one of them is close to done and they won't open another unless they get a big order (I've seen people come in and order 1.5 kg once).

If you get another shot, it is definitely worth getting the other D.O. and comparing, although i've discovered with time that every piece tends to be different, ie more/less curated or different dry/moist points, so sometimes I like one over the other, but a few weeks later things change. They also do in-house tastings, in the back they have a small room with a couple of tables.

I haven't been to Bellota-Bellota, so I can't compare, but so far Jamonisimo has the best I've ever tasted anywhere.
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#13 Kikujiro

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 10:32 PM

It's very hard to compare across gaps of a few months, but I'm quite happy to believe the J'smo ham has the edge. Still, the other aspects are significant; at least with B-B I have been able to construct tastings ...

I'd love to have another shot; was my first visit to Barcelona and I very much hope for many more.
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#14 Cathy

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 11:02 PM

Just looked up the price at La Tienda. $59 per lb bone in and $69 per lb boneless. They are basically selling futures because it won't be available until 2007.

That gives US retailers some time to train their staffs to slice the stuff properly.
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#15 akiko

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:16 AM

I bought some Iberico from Jamonissimo in Barcelona two days ago. It was €148/kg, or abour $82/lb (hand sliced).


Kiku, there is extra madura and ... something else in my fridge at home right now. I missed the customer interaction bit as C did the buying last week. But he did complain about the fact that they were very unhelpful.

The ham is good and different from the iberico that I have experienced. One of them (I'll have to go home and look at the names again) is unlike any iberico I've ever had. Not dried to the point where its easily eaten as slices, but almost wet like bacon. This may be complete blasphemy, but I warmed and dried it out in the oven before having it. The wet texture bothered me, I think the heating improved it - flavorwise and texturally.