Excellent example of the effect of terroir on food flavor. I ate this in Spain (stayed with local family in Barcelona), and it was so so very good. Sliced exceedingly thin and wrapped around local melon. Oh my. Not meant to be eaten as a ham, but more as a very thinly sliced delicacy. A brand available at igourmet costs $16 per TWO OUNCE package. Here's the description, FYI:
Jamon Iberico by Fermin
From the Fermin family comes this exceptional, thinly-sliced Iberico ham. In the dehesas, an indigenous forest of southwestern Spain, the Iberico pig, a descendent of the wild boar, still wanders free. Popularly known as the Pata Negra or Black Hoof, the Iberico roots for wild herbs, fallen acorns, and edible roots. The resulting meat is swirled with high levels of flavorful natural fats, for which this pig has gained notoriety. Savor this exquisite product with a fine red wine, good Manchego or Zamorano, and artisan bread.
Acorn-fed iberico pork has been named to Slow Food's "Ark of Taste" (Spain). www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/acorn-fed-pure-iberian-pig/
Once upon a time, all our food was raised naturally, with traditional skill and artisanal processing, and I believe, it all tasted this amazing. The more I raise my own food in a healthy ecosystem, offering a diversity of nature's wild feeds rather than industrial foodstuffs, the more everything I raise tastes as fantastic as this.
Melding permaculture, bau-biologie, holistic nutrition oncology and functional medicine since 1997. www.Nutritional-Solutions.net, www.facebook.com/CacheSoiltoTable, www.PoSHretreat.org.
During my jobs in Spain I have made the experience that the iberico bellota ham (acorn fed) is not from this world.
It has a flavor than no other ham and mouth watering that, if you once had the first piece you run into a rush and can't stop eating.
Coming now to the price: If you can affort it to pay 4000$ then it might be worth it. But coming to the point you eat a ham then it's a ham with another taste and I cannot find the 3800$ difference to any farmer's ham who put love and patience in his ham made in his cellar.
Grass fed Iberico is cheaper and still the meat is top of the notch taste. May it be a Loin, A Belly or just a shoulder piece.
The Iberico Pork is a Breed that stands out in taste and marbling and I would pay the 13$ per Lb as soon I have a chance to get hold on. (Suits my wallet also more)
Put a Berkshire, Duroc and Iberico on the table, let Grandma do her Sunday roast and you might be disappointed when you taste the Berkshire as an Iberico..
The Ibericos grow up in a Landscape that is unique and so will be the Pig itself. Putting all these facts together and you want to be a part of the top class ham society, well then you need to pay the price before sold out.
But if you accept a slight difference in the taste support your local farmer as long he treats his pigs with love and respect and feeds them naturally.
Just my humble opinion
In modern times is going the right way forward the only way to coming back to nature.
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