After I read the other posts about the Iberico, I wondered if there would be much of a difference between it and Serrano ham or the Prosciutto di Parma, my usual luxe ham at $19.99 per pound. Compared to $96 per pound, my usual sounds like a bargain! I remembered a time that I was at the Four Seasons in NYC Midtown Manhattan when a friend picked up a bottle of water that said, "If you open this bottle, $11 will be charged to your room." She grabbed it, trotted down in her Prada clad feet, and took a few drinks. I asked her how that $11 water tasted. She said, "Like water." I laughed.
Later on at a club in NYC called Scores, we were treated to a plate of strawberries and cream with a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal, which usually costs anywhere from $200 - $500, depending on where you are when you buy it. Consider the cost of living in New York, though. I asked my friend Frankie if she thought it tasted any different from other "champagne" that we'd had. No, she admitted with her big Frankie blue eyes. But I did notice that the bubbles floated straight up, which is one of the distinguishing characteristics of French champagne.
So I wondered how the high - dollar Iberico would compare to its common, less expensive counterparts.
When I ordered the Iberico, I asked if they would trim the fat around the outside. They said no, eat the fat. I later read on a web site somewhere that the free range, acorn - eating pigs have an antioxidant quality from the acorns that allows the meat to be cured for 2 - 3 years without spoiling. During that time, 40% of weight is lost, and as the fat drips away, much of the fat is transformed into mono - unsaturated fat. Wow.
I also read somewhere that the possible carcinogenic effects of nitrates and nitrites can be combatted with the inclusion of Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) during the time of consumption, so I had a San Pellegrino Blood Orange drink to go with my snack. I am really hooked on that stuff. Many say that the presence of nitrates or nitrites are so minute....but I've been deeply affected by a loss due to cancer, so I'm into Vitamin C.
I loved it. If I had all the money in the world, I would eat it often! It melts in your mouth, it tastes less salty than other comparable types of ham, and it's worth $10 just to have 10 slices! Get it at Hillcrest Artisan Meats on Kavanaugh in Little Rock.
Also, check out other posts about the Iberico from other bloggers in Little Rock:
Arkansas Foodies: jamon-iberico-at-hillcrest-artisan-meats/
Fancy Pants Foodie: http://fancypantsfoodie.com/2012/09/29/iberico-de-bellota-at-hillcrest-artisan-meats-or-meet-the-hermanosjamones/
The Mighty Rib: http://themightyrib.com/?p=4958
Daniel at Eat Arkansas: http://www.arktimes.com/EatArkansas/archives/2012/10/02/sampling-a-sensual-spanish-ham-at-hillcrest-artisan-meats