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 Ibérico D.O.


Recommended Posts

Questions about bringing jamon (serrano, iberico, whatever) back to the U.S.:

- Do locals in either Barcelona or Madrid have specific locations / vendors that they feel sell THE best, in either city? I've personally sampled a variety of quality here in Barcelona, and been given a deluge of recommendations, and my suitcase will only hold so much, so I need really strong recommendations.

- Now that cryovacced packages are generally and easily available, does anyone have advice or warnings about going through customs in the States?

Thanks.

Food, glorious food!

“Eat! Eat! May you be destroyed if you don’t eat! What sin have I committed that God should punish me with you! Eat! What will become of you if you don’t eat! Imp of darkness, may you sink 10 fathoms into the earth if you don’t eat! Eat!” (A. Kazin)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Questions about bringing jamon (serrano, iberico, whatever) back to the U.S.:

- Do locals in either Barcelona or Madrid have specific locations / vendors that they feel sell THE best, in either city?  I've personally sampled a variety of quality here in Barcelona, and been given a deluge of recommendations, and my suitcase will only hold so much, so I need really strong recommendations.

- Now that cryovacced packages are generally and easily available, does anyone have advice or warnings about going through customs in the States?

Thanks.

Just returned from Lisbon via Madrid (where there are many, many shops at the airport selling cryovac'd jamon and just about anything else you'd want) into Atlanta and I doubt you'd have any trouble whatsoever with the ham. If you declare it you'll have to show it to the Customs/Agriculture officials, if you don't you'll just cruise on through.

Note (huge, important warning here) that upon your return to the U.S. if you've got duty free wine, perfume, or anything else that's liquid or liquid-y you'll need to add those items to your checked luggage before continuing through security again to either exit the airport (which is the case in Atlanta, though not everywhere) or to continue on to a connecting flight. This is because you've got access to your checked luggage during the Customs/Agriculture, and could theoretically retrieve something dangerous from your checked bag and move it to your carry-on. I actually did forget and forgot to move a couple of small bottles of perfume, but either they didn't notice or decided to ignore the small volume. I did see a security guard walk away with a confiscated bagged and labeled bottle of wine, so don't risk it.

Can you pee in the ocean?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I brought back some chorizo Iberico with no problems. Just a small vac package, didn't declare it, no problems. It's delicious. I'm not sure how a large hunk or leg would travel, however. It might make for a good, though somewhat risky, story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So long as it is in good condition and no little and tiny worms or mosquitas appear .

I have known of few cases where other people had resturned the jamon to corte ingles for refund. So better check thoroughly for such critters before packing

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

I've never seen any sort of bugs or critters in jamón... I don't think this is a very common problem.

But I think the OP needs to know what to ask for. If you are looking for the very best, then you want jamón ibérico, not jamón serrano. I'd stick to the "jamón ibérico de bellota" or "jamón ibérico de recebo."

The El Corte Inglés at Preciados has a good selection (though I find they sometimes don't cut it as well as the people at the market)--they definitely have Joselito Gran Reserva.

La Leonesa on Santa Isabel in Antón Martíin (on the outside of the market) has Sánchez Romero 5J and I am almost certain they cryovac. Pretty much any decent market has at least one stall with the really good stuff, but I don't know how many cryovac.

Customs will seize it if you declare it. But I have to say that the last few times that I've gone through the US, my bags WERE sniffed by the dogs and on one recent occasion we had to empty one out and they inspected everything carefully. So it's not a sure thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just returned with a whole jamon iberico in my suitcase.....cryovac-ed. I paid a premium for boneless iberico......just because. Who needs to smuggle bones? I did not declare it, nor did I mention the trip to the cheese farm, or the sheep cheese nestled next to the ham. Of course the vendors assured me that it is perfectly legal, and I can buy seriously expensive jamon serrano at jamon iberico prices anywhere in California so it must be legal....right?

In restaurants we say: "It is better to ask forgiveness later than permission now." My theory is this: if I declare it, I get a low-level Customs guy who will confiscate it because he is dumb and doesn't want to take chances. If I get caught, I will get a supervisor with more info and more discretion.....and then I can play dumb. Regardless, be prepared to punt off your purchase. I would love to go to the Customs Christmas party!

Customs tends not to check couples, so your chances are good if you have a date.....knock on wood!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

You are not allowed to bring meat products into the US - "Meat and Animal Products and Byproducts

Fresh, dried, or canned meats and meat byproducts are prohibited entry into the United States from most foreign countries because of the continuing threat of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease), and other animal diseases." This is from the US Customs web site.

Some years ago we purchased sealed packages of ham and salami in the Rome airport and declared it upon entry only to have it immediately confiscated. If you do not declare and are discovered you could be given a hefty fine. On the other hand, we always bring cheeses home from Italy and Portugal, always declare them, and bring them in with no problem.

Be wary. :sad:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'm stunned that you could get an entire leg back here.

In 2003, I "smuggled" a kilo of sliced jamon back, cryovacced at a grocery store in Madrid. The butcher did not include the aluminum backing, either, as I told him that I was going to the US, and he knew better -- knew that I didn't want it examined. As I was walking through customs, almost through the doors to freedom, a dog came up and sniffed my extra-large luggage. Luckily, he was only trained to sniff for drugs, because I couldn't imagine returning to the US without jamon. At least it is easier to find here, now...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
I'm stunned that you could get an entire leg back here.

In 2003, I "smuggled" a kilo of sliced jamon back, cryovacced at a grocery store in Madrid.  The butcher did not include the aluminum backing, either, as I told him that I was going to the US, and he knew better -- knew that I didn't want it examined.  As I was walking through customs, almost through the doors to freedom, a dog came up and sniffed my extra-large luggage.  Luckily, he was only trained to sniff for drugs, because I couldn't imagine returning to the US without jamon.  At least it is easier to find here, now...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

La Paz Market in Madrid has a vedor located in the middle aisle who sells high quality iberico and will vacum seal for you. I bought 2 joselito legs, 4 lomo, and 2 chorizo from him (it was about 20 kg total.) He deboned the hams and double vacum sealed everything for me. I was a little nervous going through customs :unsure: but all went well. Good luck!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
i brought back 2lbs of jamón ibérico de bellota, cryo-vac, in my suitcase and had no problems.

i hit up the museo del jamon near plaza del Sol-  a little pricey but totally worth it.

I have a friend who just came back successfully with several whole hams and cheeses inside her checked luggage. She brought an empty suitcase over and then split the load between 2 cases, so one oversize bag (and overweight bag) was a non-issue. Hams were cryovacced and purchased at Museo de Jambon (will upload pictures as soon as I can get ImageGullet working -- my first time).

All the warnings about not declaring on the customs form are correct -- unlike wine, you cannot simply pay duty on any excess and bring it in -- meat is strictly forbidden and will be confiscated if declared or found.

Customs dogs are trained to focus on drugs, so unless you find one that is very hungry (or who has a fondness for jambon), you should be safe from them.

Good luck!

Jason

JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Customs dogs are trained to focus on drugs, so unless you find one that is very hungry (or who has a fondness for jambon), you should be safe from them.

Good luck!

Jason

Not true, coming back from the UK while waiting for passport control a dog sat down next to a hippy character, oh a drugs bust I thought, this will be interesting. But it turned out to be cheese and fruit!

That said I guess there are more drug dogs sniffing checked luggage than food dogs.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

We are currently traveling through Andalusia and will end our trip in Madrid. Unfortunately, we will not be stopping in Huelva. I have checked several posts looking for recommendations for places to purchase top quality Iberico ham. Recommendations, please. Thank you, all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jabugo Sol seems to be a tourist focused restaurant.

For top grade Jamón and lomo stay close to the top brands Joselito, Sanchez Romero Carvajal (5 Jotas) and Carrasco. You can't go wrong with any of these brands.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Madrid you can also get Sanchez Romero, Joselito Gran Reserva etc. from most regular El Corte Inglés supermarkets (as opposed to having to go to the Club de Gourmet, which not all El Corte Inglés supermarkets have). La Leonesa near the Anton Martín metro stop at c/Santa Isabel 1 also sells Sanchez Romero 5J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all for your advice. When in Sevilla, I had asked the concierge at our hotel her recommendations for finding Iberico Jamon. She recommended Baco. Baco has three locations in Sevilla. It had the Sanchez Romero Cinco Jotas for 72 euros per kilo. They hand sliced and vacuum packed the order.

During our travels through Andalusia, I was unable to find any other vendor with the the Cinco Jotas until I landed in Madrid and had the time to stop at Cortes Ingles. The same jamon was being sold for approximately twice that at Baco.

I had no problems shipping to the US, although I did not declare it in the customs paperwork.

The jamon is delicious!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Just received today a whole (leg of) jamón Ibérico as a birthday present - without weighing it I would guess there is at least five kilos here.

This is very definitely a first in this household and we've been scrambling around to find what to do next. We're leaving for a week in Helsinki early tomorrow morning so some arrangements have to be made.

On the basis of what advice is on this and other websites, the following is what I propose to do.

There is a thin layer of white mold across part of the exterior. I understand it to be harmless and it will simply be wiped off with a damp cloth.

The leg will then be hung in the garage - normally cool and dry - by the little attached rope until we get back.

(Then we probably need to have another party.)

Is there anything more to done to ensure its welfare?

Once we start to slice, I understand the cut face should be covered with a damp cloth or some cling film - any other advice?

The labels say that it comes from Rubado on the Calle Jesus Aprendiz in Madrid and should be consumed before the end of November. Brussels, where we live, has a generally temperate moist climate so I fear that the leg may not keep as long as it might in Spain - again any advice would be welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you cut it, better than with a cloth, use its own fat. You should get a nice layer in the first cut. Then it's up to you whether to cover it with a cloth or not.

Regarding slicing, you may want to take a look at:

How to cut a ham

I've seen a few videos come up at YouTube, don't know if they're reliable or not.

If the ham it's any good, don't worry, you'll eat it well before November.

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...