Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by itsstillmatt, Jan 31, 2012.
Are you sarging up in here, bhowie?
I thought this was in dumb threads and was a parody of something. Didn't mean to shit it up. Kyle will be along shortly to delete all of that garbage. My apologies.
Damn you Bhowie. Those were your best posts yet.
At some point during my day at work, my brain must've gotten completely fried. I'm unable to achieve basic comprehension in most of the threads in the Food & Drink forum.
Can I recommend a mail order ham from Mother's in New Orleans? Sweet jesus that was delicious, and I don't even like ham.
Probably start with Serrano if you like the taste. I prefer Parma ham but not sure where you can get.
Damnn, bhowie, what did you write? Quintuple posts for the win.
I find that I don't even eat italian ham anymore, I much prefer spanish, and that there is a corrolation between price and taste. right now in my fridge I have a kilo each of spanish ham, black footed, and about half a kilo of black forrest. the latter is heavily smoked, the former not. they both are a lot redder, darker in color than typical italian ham. if I was eating it a little faster, I'd get a country ham, as a third ham.
Matt, I wish that I could remember the details of what you want to look for, but I always have bought at a butcher in spain and they talk me through it. what you want is from the black footed breed of pig, acorn fed, and that is iberico, I believe.
Iberico is the breed. They have black feet. Acorn fed is de bellotta. Mucho mas dinero, and I only think 1 or 2 brands are imported to the US.
Well, Ibérico is generally quite expensive (hype). Think of 10-30€/100g when you buy it in small amounts (i.e. not on the bone). Jamón ibérico de belotta is also known as jamón de pata negra. I tasted an award-winning jamón de pata negra a couple of months ago which was 25€/100g. It was very good. Still, for practicing I'd go with a jamón de serrano or prosciutto di parma. Or, if the selection is good, I'd probably go with another, less "hyped" one that tastes good or better and costs less. Jambon de Bayonne is quite nice, too. Bras had a wonderful jambon du pays which they served in the Gargouillou.
These guys have a good selection of jamon at various prices.
I too prefer the taste of Spanish ham over Italian - I dunno, I find the flavor to be a little more concentrated, but YMMV. I have a notoriously bad palate as a result of chronic sinus issues. Annoying, since I enjoy cooking so much. Maybe that's why my food sucks.
I've ordered a boneless Serrano from them and it was solid, if unspectacular, but for like $250-350, a bone-in Serrano is a hard deal to pass up, especially for something like a Christmas party. Should also be a good way to cut your teeth on the carving. Invest in a sturdy stand - the cheap one they sell on their site (the $~50 one) is the one I got, and though it's serviceable, I wish often for a little bit more stability and mass. The hardwood ones look awesome, but as I am a peasant, the $750 was a bit more than I was willing to put into it.
If I were to do it again, I'd step up to a non-bellota Iberico. They're at more of a $700 price point, and I'd imagine pretty farking good.
Bellota is crazy, like $1300.
Service with Tienda is quite good, I got my stuff quickly and nicely packed. Because I bought a boneless one, it was cold-packed; not sure if they'd do the same with a bone-in. I never got entirely to the root of why boneless hams need refrigeration and bone-in do not, but I presume it has something to do with the fact that boning might open up air pockets inside the ham that would not exist in a bone-in ham.
Knife is important, too. I bought a mid-price one from Tienda and I don't really like it, though I'm sure in the right hands it could be sharpened appropriately. You, OTOH, probably have a roster of knives that would be perfect for the purpose. I'm told you should have a slightly "flexible" knife; I've seen guys all dressed up wielding these long whippy wu-shu looking things and they get amazing results, but in the end I haven't had the greatest results myself.
Have fun... I have been looking at getting another Serrano just recently myself. I find it's great to have something like that laying around - always great as an app and can enhance many weeknight meals.
I'm no expert, but I do not believe this is exactly correct - pata negra refers to the "black feet" of the iberico breed. Bellota means acorn, and not all pata negra hams have been fed on bellota.
99% sure this is correct.
Thanks. This is exactly what I wanted to know. I am basically thinking what you mention in your last sentence. It would be great to slice off a bit in the evening and have with a glass of wine, as an appetizer, or just while we are getting ready. Also good info about the stands. I hate spending a ton on stuff like that, but it sounds like the $50 option may not be great.
The Serrano and Iberico seem very different to me, both in taste and in the fact that they seem to be from very different sorts of pigs. I don't love Parma hams I've had here, but in Italy some have been great. I guess i'll call and try to figure out Iberico vs Serrano myself. Carving will, I am sure, be difficult in the beginning, but you can eat your mistakes, and I learn quickly...
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