The World's Best Ham: Ibérico de Bellota
At $150/lb. this meat had better be good. And it is. At Huffington Post, chef and author Rozanne Gold tells the story of tasting Ibérico de Bellota first in Spain, then at Despaña in New York:
No, that's not a typo and not meant to be $1.50/lb. It is $150 a pound and that's for the shoulder of a very special pig. Its back legs are more: $180 a pound, and they will be available in select areas in the U.S. on Monday. Mustard would be a sacrilege. After all, this is "5J 100% Pure Breed Ibérico de Bellota" ham from Spain.
The back story: More than 20 years ago, I had one of those taste epiphanies, the Proustian kind, where, embedded in your brain is a memory, an aroma, a texture and a story. One that is released upon even a near encounter with that said memory, aroma, texture, and story. I was in Barcelona, sitting with my husband and business partner, at a dank wine bar, slipping short, translucent, wafers of cured pork into our mouths and letting them gently rest upon our tongues until they melted away -- not unlike the experience of transcendental sashimi.