Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Jamón Iberico in Philly!


 Share

Recommended Posts

Popped into DiBruno's in the Italian Market this afternoon for some window shopping, and in the midst of the cheese grazing and search for the name of that Spanish cheese I served on Christmas Eve, I saw something that looked like a slab of bacon with a sign on top of it:

"Jamon Iberico

"Finally available in the USA!"

After describing how it's made and where it comes from, the sign concluded:

"One taste and you'll understand and agree that it's worth

"$99.99 a pound"

:shock:

Did DiBruno's have to smuggle this ham into the United States? Is it that difficult to produce? Made in extremely small quantities from a hard-to-raise breed of pig?

Where's Ferran Adria when I need him?

And would anyone be interested in going into a syndicate to buy a pound?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And would anyone be interested in going into a syndicate to buy a pound?

I can remember going in with some friends for non food items also sold by the pound back in my college days that was less than than 100 bucks, man that's some expensive bacon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. Ham porn. Never thought I'd use those words together, but there you have it... :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw a brief article a few weeks back in USA today (hotel room reading) that select distributors are now allowed to import jamon iberico. Here's a quote from the article.

"Embutidos Fermín of Spain, the sole producer authorized to export to the USA, has shipped about 300 of the more common Jamón Ibérico hams here, which they will sell in gourmet stores and online at tienda.com for about $50 a pound. The Bellota hams, made from acorn-fed pigs, are due this summer and will sell for about $100 a pound."

Edited by Jack Sprat (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

according to this thread in the NY forum, it's $90/lb machine sliced and $99 hand-sliced at despaña. so the $99 doesn't seem to be that out of line.

maybe the USA today was talking about the whole ham price -- a whole bone-in ham from tienda.com costs $52/lb, or you can pre-order a bellota for delivery next summer, for $96/lb.

(edited to make sense)

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anthony Bourdain's July 3rd 2006 Episode called "Decoding Ferran Adria" had a wonderful segment on Jamón ibérico. Ferran send Bourdain to this exclusive shop just to sample this amazing stuff, and ever since then I have dearly wanted to just have a taste. But I can only find mail order whole hams, and I can't afford the $800 it would cost to buy one.

Most of this episode is upon YouTube, but they CUT OUT the whole segment of Bourdain visiting the specialty Jamón ibérico shop. It was the best part of the whole show and extremely informative. You learn that is should NEVER be machine sliced, that the fat is actually mono-unsaturated.

Also keep in mind that Jamón Iberico comes in several grades, and the best grade hams will not be available in the US until 2008! They will cost twice as much ($1500 per ham)

Any place in New Jersey known to have this stuff?

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ask nicely at DiBruno's and they'll give you a sample of the jamon iberico. It really is wonderful stuff, and I enjoyed my sample (which I figure was worth about $1.50) immensely. One of these days-- when there's something to celebrate, I guess- I'll head down there and buy me someadat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So if America's newspaper, "USA Today," says the intended retail price is a mere $50 a pound, and DiBruno's seems to be selling them for an impressive $99.99 a pound, which is the more righteous street price?

Prices will come down. Hundreds of US customers pre-ordered these hams as much as 5 years ago, and the demand is huge right now. So it's top-dollar if you want it now. In a few months we'll be down to $50 a pound, I hope.

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my fondest memories from spending a month in Madrid last year was tasting jamon iberico de bellota (from pata negra pigs who are fed exlusively acorns, I believe). I had ignored it for most of my time in Spain until it came up in conversation. A German thought it was overrated and a Spaniard contradicted him, saying that it melts in your mouth like butter.

So, I went down to el Corte Ingles in the Puerta del Sol, (a mammoth dept store chain that has a large gourmet foods section in Madrid) and selected the most expensive one they had (it's quite a sight, even for Spain, with 30 or so hams hanging on a wall all in a row). I got 50 grams I think, and paid 7+ euros for a handful of slices. (I remember it being 180 euros/kilo, but the math doesn't add up...maybe though).

In any case, I couldn't wait to dig in and was scarfing down ham from one hand and a baguette from the other while walking down the street a little after sunset. It was easiest the best ham I'd ever had and definitely was a big step up from Jamon Serrano.

Still, even at Spanish prices I would need a pretty big excuse to justify the expense. Maybe NYE is reason enough to try a few slices of the stuff that's made it through the FDA hoops and see how it stacks up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still, even at Spanish prices I would need a pretty big excuse to justify the expense.  Maybe NYE is reason enough to try a few slices of the stuff that's made it through the FDA hoops and see how it stacks up.

totally! besides, about four thin slices is only going to be about fifteen bucks. isn't it worth a little indulgence?

i can't wait for that bellota. that alone is worth a trip to spain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last June we got $500 direct flights from Philly to Lisbon and $40 bus tickets to Sevilla. Plate of Iberico Jamon and a cool glass of gazpacho goes for about $5 (even with the poor exchange rate). Now if only there were a way around the sausage sniffing dogs coming back in...

gallery_52518_5017_30753.jpg

Edited by Jack Sprat (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my fondest memories from spending a month in Madrid last year was tasting jamon iberico de bellota (from pata negra pigs who are fed exlusively acorns, I believe).  I had ignored it for most of my time in Spain until it came up in conversation.  A German thought it was overrated and a Spaniard contradicted him, saying that it melts in your mouth like butter.

So, I went down to el Corte Ingles in the Puerta del Sol, (a mammoth dept store chain that has a large gourmet foods section in Madrid) and selected the most expensive one they had (it's quite a sight, even for Spain, with 30 or so hams hanging on a wall all in a row).  I got 50 grams I think, and paid 7+ euros for a handful of slices.  (I remember it being 180 euros/kilo, but the math doesn't add up...maybe though).

1 kg = 2.2 lb

€1 = ~US$1.20

Sounds like the price in Spain isn't that far off the price in the US.

I would think it would be lower there if only because of the reduced transport costs and absence of tariffs or customs duties.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 kg = 2.2 lb

€1 = ~US$1.20

Sounds like the price in Spain isn't that far off the price in the US.

I would think it would be lower there if only because of the reduced transport costs and absence of tariffs or customs duties.

Actually the euro is up to a shocking $1.47. I was thinking in terms of the $1.25 or so it was last fall. Jamon iberico de bellota is a good bit more expensive than just plain jamon iberico (what's available so far in the US) and I did pick out the most expensive one - there were others cheaper by 10 or 20 euros/kilo IIRC - but you're right, figuring in the absurd exchange rate I'm not sure the price is much different at all. That's depressing.

*edited for tags*

Edited by orion (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright, just bought (and quickly consumed) some of the Jamon Iberico from the ninth street dibrunos, here are my thoughts....

First off, the package says "bellota" , and I think it is. it has that wonderful nuttiness that i would believe comes from the acorn diet that those pata negras eat.

the texture is really amazing. it completely melts in your mouth. it has pronounced salt, of course, lingering hamy goodness and that nuttiness. It looks amazing as well. it is well marbled and has a nice wide strip of fat on the edges. It is definitely the best cured ham type of thing i have ever had. truly worthy of the $99/lb cost.

Maybe the price will go down eventually, but i doubt it. I remember when the bellota lomo came in about 6 months ago. it was awesome and sold out (from the whole country) in about a month. i thought that was good, but this is much better. it will simply sell out before the price has a chance to drop. maybe they will make and ship more for next years batch, and then hopefully, we will start to see the price decrease a little.

run out and get it, it's worth it... :wub:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i concur. i bought some for new years eve and it is a real treat.

had it with grosses gewachs reisling (auslese trocken, from "grand cru" designated vineyards)

lovely, lovely, indulgence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting... Yannii can you tell if the packaging that says Bellota is from the point of origin? I only ask because Dean and Deluca in NYC was selling some Iberico labeled as Bellota, but then said that it was a labeling mistake.

I don't think anyone's trying to be deceptive, I think many folks, even the ones handling it, are honestly confused about the distinctions.

Whatever it is, those pics above were of supposedly (non-Bellota) Iberico from D&D, and it was still awesome. I can only imagine the Bellota is even better. I'm just psyched that any of it is around!

Thanks for the reports, Yannii and Bill!

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the packaging i was referring to, was the label that Dibruno Brothers prints out. it certainly could be inaccurate, but that would be unusual for Dibruno Brothers.

plus, the flavor, to me, was fairly reminiscent of the "bellota" lomo that i tasted roughly 6 months ago.

also, would it make sense that "bellota" products take longer to come to the us? the term is more related to the feed of the pigs, than the curing process, i think, which would mean they would be ready for shipping near the same time as regular jamon iberico, right?

if anyone figures this out, let us know...

either way, this stuff is delicious!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not the bellota. It's just not available in the U.S. yet. The bellota is cured for up to 36 months, as opposed to 24 for the regular stuff. Like D&D, they must just be confused.

The regular iberico still has a distinctive nuttiness.

I'll call Di Bruno's tomorrow and sort this out...

Edited by dagordon (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

the packaging i was referring to, was the label that Dibruno Brothers prints out. it certainly could be inaccurate, but that would be unusual for Dibruno Brothers.

plus, the flavor, to me, was fairly reminiscent of the "bellota" lomo that i tasted roughly 6 months ago.

also, would it make sense that "bellota" products take longer to come to the us? the term is more related to the feed of the pigs, than the curing process, i think, which would mean they would be ready for shipping near the same time as regular jamon iberico, right?

if anyone figures this out, let us know...

either way, this stuff is delicious!

I may be misremembering (ravages of age and whatnot), but my recollection is that the availability of the Jamon de Bellota is just very limited, and US importers have to wait in line like everybody else. The Bellota (beyond which you have distinctions of DOC, but let's not get silly) hogs are a fairly small percentage of the total number, and are raised free-ranging, which in itself places some limits on the practice.

La Tienda claims they won't be available until this Summer, which casts some doubt in my mind as to the veracity of Di Bruno's labeling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

La Tienda claims they won't be available until this Summer, which casts some doubt in my mind as to the veracity of Di Bruno's labeling.

dibruno's sign also says ILBERICO JAMON - labeling is not their strong point; getting good product is. but still, you can't have what isn't available, and bellota just isn't.

mmmm tienda. i'm about to do a big order from them. thank god for the internets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may be misremembering (ravages of age and whatnot), but my recollection is that the availability of the Jamon de Bellota is just very limited, and US importers have to wait in line like everybody else. The Bellota (beyond which you have distinctions of DOC, but let's not get silly) hogs are a fairly small percentage of the total number, and are raised free-ranging, which in itself places some limits on the practice.

La Tienda claims they won't be available until this Summer, which casts some doubt in my mind as to the veracity of Di Bruno's labeling.

The point is that only one producer, Embutidos y Jamones Fermín, is approved by the US to import iberico products of any kind. All of the iberico is Fermin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the printed label on my purchase of 12/31/07 makes no mention of bellota.

the label states: jamon iberico, boneless spanish ham from acorn fed pata negra. no mention of bellota anywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...