Never ever leave Spain Without Tasting Jamon Iberico
The title says it all: Spain without tasting Jamon Iberico de Bellota! It is an understatement to some people when you say that it is one of the best tasting hams in the world, the most appropriate would be is that it is THE most amazing and most fantastic tasting ham in the entire world. It is an exaggeration but if you have tasted it in Spain and not from stores found in your neighborhood then you will agree with me about this.
The reason why I want you to taste the hamon in Spain is because the best Jamon Iberico de Bellota is never exported from Spain. The best bellota only stays in Spain and the best place where you can get this is at the Mercado de San Miguel. I have been raving about this ham and these are some of the things that you should know about Iberian ham. Jamon Iberico or Iberian ham is also called pata negra is a type of ham that comes from pure black pigs or crossbred pigs that have at least 75% black pigs in their pedigree. These pigs are native to the southwestern part of Spain and in some parts of Portugal.
In Portugal, it is called presunto iberico and for ham to be classified as a real Iberian ham then they must come from these two countries. The pigs are very special because they can accumulate fat more than ordinary pigs. Iberico pigs are either fed on a diet of pure acorns or with a mix of acorns and cereals.
If you do go to Spain, go the meat shops along the Gran Via and all the way to the Sol and beyond. This is where you will find the shops selling prized iberico hams and other cured meat products that can range from whole legs to vacuum sealed slices. Your trip will not be complete if you do not bring home a stash of one of the most coveted hams in the world. There are also endless rows of restaurants that are named after the famous ham and the most popular would be the Museo del Jamon. As the name proclaims, it is a restaurant that pays a fitting tribute to the most exquisite ham in the world.