Ham for the Holidays
Ham lovers will need no introduction to Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, a cured Spanish ham made from Ibérico pigs. Considered to be the finest ham in the world, Ibérico has an exquisite, nutty-sweet flavor that comes from the animals being fed a diet of wild acorns (bellota).
The prestigious Cinco Jotas Ibérico brand has been in business for more than 150 years. Their pure breed pigs spend their lives roaming the oak forests of southwestern Spain. The hams are then cured for an average of three years before being hand-carved by master ham carvers from Jabugo, Spain.
The acorn-rich diet of the pigs does more than add flavor – it results in a healthier ham. Ibérico de Bellota is high in Omega 3 and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat (the type found in olive oil) that fights cholesterol.
This ham needs no embellishment and is best enjoyed on its own, or with some Spanish olives and a fresh piece of crusty bread. For maximum enjoyment, make sure to serve it at room temperature.
Cinco Jotas arrived in the U.S. in 2011, and charcuterie-addicted epicureans can find their pre-sliced Ibérico de Bellota online and at specialty retailers across the country.
Price: $22.50 for 1.5 oz. or $40 for 3 oz.