Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jamón ibérico


Jamón ibérico, Iberico ham, also called pata negra, is a type of cured ham produced mostly in Spain and in some Portuguese regions, where it's called presunto ibérico. It is at least 75% black Iberian pig, also called the cerdo negro (black pig). According to Spain's Denominación de Origen rules on food products jamón ibérico may be made from cross-bred pigs as long as they are at least 75% ibérico.

Until recently, jamón ibérico was not available in the United States (a fact referenced in the movie Perdita Durango, where the ham of Jabugo is praised as "illegal, but delicious").

Prior to 2005, only pigs raised and slaughtered outside of Spain were allowed to be processed in Spain for export to the United States. In 2005 the first slaughterhouse in Spain, Embutidos y Jamones Fermín, S.L., was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture to produce ibérico ham products for export to the United States.

The first "jamones ibéricos" were released for sale in the United States in December 2007, with the bellota hams due to follow in July 2008. The basic jamón ibérico is priced upwards of $52 a pound, and the bellota is priced upwards of $96 a pound, making these hams some of the most expensive in the world.


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