Skip to comments.World's 'most expensive' ham leg on sale in London
Posted on 01/18/2010 4:54:58 AM PST by Daffynition
"The world's most expensive ham" has gone on sale in London, according to retailer Selfridges.
The leg of Iberico ham, which costs £1,800, went on sale at the food hall in the retailer's flagship store in Oxford Street, central London.
The 7kg (15lb) ham leg comes with its own DNA certificate as proof of authenticity.
Pig farmer and ham expert Manuel Maldonado selected 50 pigs that were reared in Extremadura in western Spain.
The pigs were fed on a diet of acorns and roots to give the ham a distinctive flavour.
After being slaughtered their ham was salted and cured for three years, before going on sale in a hand-made wooden box wrapped in an apron made by a Spanish tailor.
"Connoisseurs will appreciate the melt-in-the-mouth texture of this truly amazing Spanish ham," said Selfridges fresh food Buyer Andrew Cavanna.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
The Iberico ham comes with its own DNA certificate
Hey, just like Monica's blue dress!
Guess our president won’t buy it; heard he shouldn’t or couldn’t eat ham.
Are you supposed to eat it, or display it in your living room under a glass case?
An even more expensive ham. Plus, you'd be talking your way out of even more tickets.
Yeah, it sure is weird; pork products are like Krypronite to him, he won't go near them, I dunno why. Maybe it's a clue or somethin'.
Oh, but wait, "Biggest Loser" is on, can't think now, must be entertained at all costs.
No Swine Before Its Time!
I can barely afford bacon, so what do I know?
Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.
How about a dog? Dogs eats its own feces.
I don't eat dog either.
Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?
A dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way Marcia.
I'd file this under "It's more trouble than it's worth" category ...like owning a high performance car.
Even if you could afford it, do you have to have a special meat hook hanging from your kitchen ceiling to keep it?
I can just see the dog jumping on the kitchen counter trying to reach it!
Besides, who has a knife in the kitchen drawer sharp enough to slice it as thin as it needs to be cut?
And then, I find that hoof a bit off-putting. Erm ...I mean ...really.
Visitor: "How so?"
Farmer: "A year ago, my house caught on fire at 3 AM, when I was asleep. That pig broke through the front door, ran upstairs, woke my wife and me, and led us so safety."
Visitor: "Wow. Say, I notice the pig has a wooden leg. How come?"
Farmer: "Well, you wouldn't eat a pig like that all at once, would you?"
Slaughtered? Just buy them prosthetic legs. You got a pig that good, you don't want to eat 'em all at once.
The story of Jamón Ibérico ham is steeped in mystery and romance. The ancient oak pastures of Spain, the noble black Ibérico pig, the mountain air which caresses each ham as it magically is transformed into one of the worlds most exquisite foods - all play a part in this uniquely Spanish phenomenon. Without each ingredient the recipe is disturbed. Greatness can only be achieved with patience, skill and adherence to traditional methods.
The origin of the Iberico pig goes back millennia, even to the time of the cavemen who decorated the caves of Spain with their art. These are the original swine of Spain, tamed over the centuries. Only in the last couple of hundred years have the pink pigs of our imagination invaded their territory. The Iberico hog is big, with slender legs and a very long snout. Iberico pigs are black, with very little hair. They have black hooves as well, which is the source of the phrase “pata negra” which describes the black hoof that remains on the ham throughout the curing process and distinguishes it from a Serrano ham. They are also much fatter animals with veins of fat running through the muscle of the pig. This, along with the large amount of fat layering each ham, allows the Iberico hams to be cured much longer, resulting in a much more complex, intense flavor, with a note of sweetness that is unparalleled.
Here we must make a very important point – not all Iberico pigs win the Jamon Iberico lottery and live free in the Spanish countryside. Most Jamon Iberico is made from Iberico pigs who live normal pig lives eating corn and other feed. It is still an excellent ham, benefiting from the noble lineage of the Iberico pig. But for the ultimate ham, you must add 'bellota', or acorns. As an indication of the difference, Jamon Iberico de Bellota can cost twice as much as a normal Iberico ham. So note well the difference between the two main types of Iberico ham: there is Jamon Iberico, and then there is Jamon Iberico de Bellota, or acorn fed.
If they are lucky enough to be destined for Bellota status, the Iberico pigs finish their lives on the Dehesa (more on this later), in small family clans, until their day of “sacrifice” arrives. The favorite pastime of Iberico hogs is rooting around the pastures in the Dehesa, foraging for acorns as well as herbs and grasses. All this running around feasting, especially during the acorn season, does more than make for a well rounded, happy pig. It makes for exquisitely marbled raw material, packed with natural antioxidants – a key ingredient for extended curing of the ham.
The Dehesa and the Acorn
Which brings us to the humble acorn, known as the 'bellota'. Many centuries ago, the rulers of western Spain decreed that each town and village should create pastures studded with oak trees, called the Dehesa, for the long term stability of the region. This forest/pasture continues to serve many purposes. The Holm and cork oaks provided firewood for the people, shade for the plants and livestock, cork products, and acorns (bellota) during fall and winter. During the spring and summer cattle and sheep graze the fields. During the fall and winter, when the acorns are falling from the trees, the pigs are released to fatten up. This ancient human-created ecosystem survives intact to this day.
An aside: with the construction boom in modern Spain there has been pressure on the owners of the Dehesa to convert it into real estate for homes and apartments. The renaissance of the Iberico ham, which began less than thirty years ago, is a major ingredient in preserving this jewel of Spain for future generations.
Iberico pigs love acorns. I mean they really love acorns. Each pig can eat ten kilos of acorns a day. When the pigs destined to be Bellota hams are released onto the Dehesa at the age of about 10 months they weigh in about 200 pounds each. The once svelte young pigs become gleeful plump pigs, gaining up to 2 pounds of fat each day. After 3 to 4 months of the period known as the ‘montanera’ each pig roughly doubles its weight. In the winter, once they have reached a certain weight, their time has arrived for the ‘sacrifice’
(Both male and female pigs participate in the montanera. All are neutered and spayed; the males to protect the quality of their meat, and the females to protect them from the attentions of wild boars from the mountains.)
The Curing Process
The 'matanza', or sacrifice, has traditionally been a family affair. A pig would be slaughtered and the whole family would gather to preserve the meat for the rest of the year. Chorizo, salchichón and morcilla sausages would be made on the spot. Choice cuts would be set aside to be eaten fresh. And the fatty legs would be packed in sea salt and hung to dry in the cool winter air.
This process still continues in some towns as it has for thousands of years. And over the last century, family factories have begun curing these hams in large quantities using the same methods. The hams are left to absorb the salt for a few weeks. Then they are hung in factories that still have open windows to allow the mountain air to circulate around the hams.
Iberico hams cure for two to four years. Iberico hams usually about two years, Iberico Bellota hams for longer periods. This extraordinarily long curing process is possible because of the huge amount of fat on each ham and, in the case of the Bellota hams, the antioxidant quality of their diets. Over the curing period they loose nearly half their weight as the fat drips away.
An incredible transformation occurs as the winter moves to spring and summer. The salted ham starts to sweat. Because of the salt, bacteria cannot take hold, but massive chemical changes occur. The meat becomes dryer, and cools off as the second winter commences. The special aspect of Iberico is that it can go through this cycle two or three times. The result is a build up of complex, volatile molecules in the ham that transform it from a piece of pork into an orchestra of flavors.
With the Bellota hams, the most miraculous transformation is of the fats. Through this period of heating and cooling, salting and drying, the fats are broken down. Because of the antioxidants in the acorns and the unique curing process, the saturated fats are changed into healthy mono-unsaturated fats high in oleic acid. The only fat higher in oleic acid is olive oil.
The ultimate result is long, thin leg of ham with a deep golden hue to its fat. The meat is dark red, marbled with veins of fat. We had an incredible experience in the city of Caceres. There Pedro Lancho, the owner of Encinar de Cabazón, served us a feast fit for a king. The highlight was when the professional waiter at his favorite restaurant brought out plates of his Gran Reserva Jamón Ibérico de Bellota. It was served in paper thin slices on a plate that was warmed to about 75 degrees. At that temperature the fat literally melted onto the plate.
On first bite, the flavor of the ham was incredible. Sweet, nutty, and not too salty. Then the complexity of ham flavors increased. An essential part of the flavor and mouth-feel was the way the fat melted away, releasing flavors that told the story of the noble Iberico swine, of the Dehesa forest pasture, of the years of careful curing, and of the countryside of Spain itself.
Apparently it has been available since the summer of 2007 ...
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.
Is that the Bone-In price?
I buy my country ham at the Virginia Carolina Produce Market in Cana, Virginia. It is just across the line from Mount Airy NC and at the foot of the mountain heading up US 52 to Fancy Gap.
They offer a variety of whole and sliced ham products that ie very very good and moderately priced.
And sunflower seeds:
When I was in Virginia last, I was looking for a good ham to bring home and no one could direct me. It looks like a great place! Thanks for the recommendation ...I’ll check it out!
Londonistan is NOT pleaed.
Now THAT’S a good picture. LOL!
The world of the rich and famous is fascinating for many of us. They lead the life many of us want and they do what we only dream of us. Being a food fanatic, this time we’ll have a look at the most expensive foods in the world, most expensive drinks, deserts or spices.
1. Saffron, a spice grown worldwide, is derived from the saffron crocus flower. A pound of dry saffron (0.45 kg) requires 50,00075,000 flowers to make, meaning an entire football field of these flowers. Requiring so much resources and labor, prices for the spice go around US$500/pound to US$5,000/pound (US$1100US$11,000 per kilogram).
2. The most expensive nut in the world is the Macadamia nut. The macadamia tree produces nuts only after it’s 7-10 years old, requiring fertile soil and heavy rainfall. These nuts have a very hard seed, but once it’s open it reveals a creamy white kernel containing up to 80% oil and 4% sugar. The cost of a kilogram of these nuts exceeds 30$.
3. The most expensive caviar in the world is not the black one, but the almas caviar! The word almas is Iranian for diamond. Beluga caviar comes from a fish over 100 years old, that is virtually unchanged for 120 million years. The luxurious caviar comes from the oldest survivor of the Dinosaur era. Beluga caviar ranges in price from more than $5,000 per kilogram in the United States
4. The most expensive mushroom in the world is the white truffle. The mushroom has its origins in the Langhe area of the Piedmont region in northern Italy, it can reach 12 cm diameter and 500g. These truffles are sold at a amazing price of 2,000 and 4,000 per kilogram ($1350 - $2700 per pound). The record price for this truffle was paid last year, in December, when Stanley Ho, the owner of the Macau casino paid $330,000 for 1.5kg of truffles.
5. The most expensive potato in the world is a French one, La Bonnotte. Annually, only 100 tons of this top quality potato are cultivated and collected only on the island Noirmoutier. The potato fields require to be fertilized only with seaweed in a climate shaped by the nearby sea. The cost of one single kilogram can reach 500 since this type of potato is almost extinct.
6. The most expensive beef in the world is the type of beef coming from the Wagyu cows. These Japanese cows are fed the best grass and provided the best treatment. That is why the meat is especially tender and particularly expensive. 200 grams of a fillet cost in Europe more than 100 dollars.
7. The most expensive sandwich in the world is the club sandwich from Essen aka von Essen Platinum Club Sandwich. This triple-decker delicacy contains the finest chicken, ham, hard-boiled quails’ eggs and white truffles and it’s currently sold at Cliveden, Berkshire. The chicken (poulet de Bresse) is referred to as the ‘fourth gastronomic wonder of the world served with a topping of white truffles, sold at over a thousands ponds a month. At 1,182 calories, with 1.8oz of fat, it’s not the healthiest dish but certainly one of the most expensive. Costing 100 pounds (almost 200 dollars), this is a must-try for the food fanatics.
8.The most expensive pizza in the world, valued at 8300 Eur can be tasted in Italy. With generous toppings of caviar and lobster, the pizza has a diameter of 20cm and Louis XIII Remy Martin cognac poured all over it.
9. The most expensive omelet in the world can be tasted at the Le Parker Meridien restaurant in New York. The $1,000 omelet consists of 10 ounces of sevruga caviar, a whole lobster, and six eggs. To make it in the privacy of your own home, the cost will be only $700.
10. Off to something sweet now with one of the most expensive deserts in the world, served at Serendipity 3, a popular restaurant in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The $1000 sundae was introduced in 2004 and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive dessert. It’s made up of 5 scoops of the richest Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream, Madagascar vanilla, 23K edible gold leaf and one of the most expensive chocolates in the world, Amedei Porceleana.
11. The tastiest and most expensive chocolate in the world is Chocopologie by Knipschildt. At $2,600 per pound, this handmade chocolate truffle is available only if ordered. t contains a black truffle and 70% Valrhona cacao.
12. The world’s finest and most expensive coffee is Kopi Luwak. The coffee comes from the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the total annual production is only around 500 pounds of beans. That is why the price of a pound is outrages - $300 or more.
13. The current record for the most expensive tea is held by a rare Chinese green tea called Tieguanyin, which costs 1,700 Yuan ($3,000) per kilo (per 2 lb 3 oz) approximately 8.50 Yuan ($15) for a single cup.
14. The world’s most expensive tea bag for the PG company, to celebrate their 75th anniversary. Manually decorated with 280 diamonds, the bag made to remind people just how much they love the great British cup of tea is worth £7,500.
15. The most expensive champagne in the world is Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque Blanc de Blanc, made of specially selected grapes, sold in manually painted bottles and with a price tag of around $1,500.
16. The most expensive whisky in the world is considered to be the Macallan Fine Rare Vintage. With only 85 bottles being released world-wide, tasting this 30 year old is a rare treat. Price for a single bottle? $38,000!
17. Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum is merely the top-selling high strength rum in the world, bottled in 1940. Only four bottles are left from this precious liquor, each being estimated at $53,000.
18. The most expensive cocktail in the world, “Diamonds-Are-Forever”, has no special ingredients like we had so far. The only excuse for wearing the 11,000 price tag is that the olive is replaced by a 1.6 carat diamond. To be found in the hotel Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo.
19. The most expensive beer in the world costs around £500 (around $1,000) a bottle and is called Vielle Bon Secours. It can only be found in a bar called the Bierdrome in London.
20. The most expensive drinks list will eventually come to dovka. Diva Vodka, produced by the Blackwood Distillery in Scotland is the world’s most expensive vodka. Depending on your choice of “crystal decoration” the price of a single varies from £35 to a staggering £540,000!
21. Kona Nigari water, takes the title for the world’s most expensive water. The desalinated water high in minerals from the deep seas off Hawaii, costs $16.75 per ounce.
I guess there won’t be many Middle Eastern sheiks buying it.
Just this past week, I made my first attempt at home made bacon. It came out very, very good - a couple of tweaks are needed to my process, but it was way better than store bought and fairly easy. The hardest part was finding fresh pork bellies.
Reminds me of the punchline of an old joke about the three-legged pig:
“When a pig’s THAT good ya don’t wanna eat it all at once.”
Pigs and ACORNs go together like Dems and fraud...
Now yer talkin'
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