Hand-carved Jam贸n Ib茅rico Bellota Premium DOP Extremadura 80g

Jam贸n of Conquerors

This black-label ib茅rico de bellota comes from the protected dehesas (pasture grassland with scattered oaks) of Extremadura. Fatty, with an intense mix of sweet, nutty, and salty notes, this ham is infused with the flavors of southwestern Spanish countryside. Hand-carved by Txanton鈥檚 Master Carver.

What to know
Storage Instructions

TASTING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR

Between the provinces of C谩ceres and Badajoz, cork and evergreen oaks provide a bounty of acorns for the large, slender-legged Iberian pigs locally nicknamed pata negra. This special diet and free-range living result in beautifully plump hogs鈥攖he single most essential requirement for the fatty, golden-hued legs of jam贸n ib茅rico. In one of the only four regions of Spain with protected designation of origin status for this ham, the huge haunches are salted and cured for two to four years. The haunches lose about half their weight and size, leaned down until the remaining fat layer can melt in your mouth. Jam贸n from Extremadura is known for its juicy, well-marbled pink to purple-red meat鈥攁 vessel for a delicate combination of sweetness, saltiness, and the complex earthy flavors of the dehesas themselves.

PAIRINGS

However one might describe jam贸n ib茅rico鈥攕weet and nutty, floral and earthy鈥攊t stands on a pedestal of its own. Best served at room temperature to prime the fat to melt on your tongue, it must be taken in thin, delicate pieces to enjoy the complex nuances of its flavor. Classically served with a crusty slice of bread drizzled in oil, it pairs well with the acidity of sliced tomatoes. A pinch of salt seals the deal. To bring out the fruitier notes, wrap a sliver around a slice of honeydew melon or cantaloupe. Another bruschetta-style option is to pair your jam贸n-on-toast with a poached or scrambled egg to start off your day. For wine pairings, the earthiness of Rioja or Tempranillo work perfectly鈥攁s would a brut Cava, for a bit of bubble. If you prefer white wines, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Albari帽o will pair smoothly. For beer drinkers, a lightly hoppy dark lager also goes down famously with this ham鈥檚 fatty flavors.

A PORK OF STATUS AND POLITICS

In Roman times, ham from the Iberian pigs were a favored commodity to ship back to the Empire鈥檚 capital. When the Moors of North Africa invaded Spain around the year 700, they ate the local jam贸n as an act of political rebellion. This ham remained part of the peninsula鈥檚 culinary culture even when Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon cast out the Moors and united the regions of Spain. Even Christopher Columbus, on his travels to the Americas, found the ib茅rico ham hardy, excellent voyage fare. And when the community of Jerez de los Caballeros in Extremadura began feeding their pigs solely on acorns, the status of the jam贸n ib茅rico was sealed.

Store in the fridge.

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