Thursday, October 4, 2012

Jamon Iberico de Bellota

I follow the Arkansas Times blog Eat Arkansas often to stay in touch with what's going on in the foodie community because lately there is soooo much going on!  So I recently read about the tasting of some luxe Spanish ham that several other food bloggers tried, and while I normally stay in my West Little Rock circumference which includes The Promenade at Chenal, Baker Elementary, and Whole Foods, I decided to venture all the way to Kavanaugh back to Hillcrest Artisan Meats(H.A.M.) to get me some.  I love their logo.
 
Jamon Iberico de Bellota is premium, thinly sliced, cured meat that is similar to the Italian antipasto Proscuitto di Parma, but in this case I guess it would be a great selection to add to your Spanish tapas with some Spanish olives and some manchego cheese.  It costs $96 per pound.  I asked for 10 thin slices, which was all I could afford since I was close to Dillards, and I also needed to replace my Chanel lipstick.  As you see here, 10 thin slices cost almost $10.

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
Southern Ash:http://southernash.com/2012/10/jamon-iberico-de-bellota/

3 comments:

  1. Hooray! You are now a member of the Hermanos Jamones!

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  2. It's official, HAM probably sold more of that stuff last week than it does in all year. Great post. You are now one of us #hermanosjamones #4life

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  3. Thanks everyone for stopping by! Maybe I'll see you guys at the Food Truck Festival tomorrow! Would love to meet you all!

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