Jamon Iberico de Bellota

By far the most expensive cured pig on the market

“It’s the best ham in the world. It’s the caviar of ham. I’m such a proponent of it,” says chef Terrance Brennan of the New York restaurants Picholine and Artisanal. “Once you have it, you can’t go back to proscuitto … For me, it’s sublime.”


Jamon Iberico could be the most sought after cured meat on the planet. Rich and nutty, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, a single slice of this meat can satiate the most critical of palates for hours. Made from Spain’s rare black footed pigs, which during the last few months of their life feed solely on fallen acorns, this jamon carries flavors reminiscent of those pigs’ diets and eating habits: intensely woodsy and nutty with a high degree of marbling (it turns out that feeding solely on acorns is quite a workout for the pata negra, resulting in a highly marbled meat). Only 8-9% of all Spanish jamon is Jamon Iberico and only a small percentage of all Iberico is designated bellota, meaning the highest, most acorn-fed pigs were used.

A limited supply is now available at Ottavio’s in Oak Bay, Victoria and Oyama Sausage Co. in Vancouver.

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