Thursday, December 20, 2007

The $800 Holiday Ham

The Newport News (Virginia) Daily Press ran an excellent article (here) the other day about the arrival of Jamon Iberico in time for Christmas. After years of bureaucratic wrangling, Don Harris, proprietor of LaTienda, a Spanish food importer, managed to finally get USDA regulators to sign off on the importation of these legendary hams made from free-range, black-footed Iberico hogs that are fattened on acorns.

I first heard about these pigs (and hams) in Peter Kaminsky's book Pig Perfect (2005). At $87 per pound, I guess I won't be sampling any Jamon Iberico anytime soon, although Harris notes that they are hoping to eventually sell packaged slices of this ham for regular folks. According to the article. about 100 people have put down deposits on these hams, with 300 on the list for an even better version, the "Jamon Iberico de Bellota," which should arrive next year and sell for $1500 each.

To promote Spanish artisanal pork, Harris' company has set up a website,, which is "dedicated to the fine art of the ham." The photo above is by Philippe Desmazes, AFP/Getty Images. The caption reads "A man checks Iberian hams hanging in a drying room at the Embutidos y Jamones Fermin farm in La Alberca near Salamanca. The Spanish Jamon Iberico (Iberian ham) is the name which is given exclusively to hams from the Iberian pig breed. The secret of the tase of Iberian ham is down to the pigs diet of acorns which they live on all year round."

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Blogger Erik Loomis said...

This is such an awesomely random blog.

6:41 PM  

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