When I moved to Spain in 1998 I was the fussiest eater. I would only eat Spanish omelette (potato and onion) if it was piping hot. Elaborate restaurant food with sauces or fish made me nervous. Spanish ham or olives didn´t appeal to me at all. I was quite happy with a cheese pizza o boiled ham sandwich.

I did not try any new foods. I turned my nose up at most Spanish food then. As time has gone on, we have progressed. I have been in Spain for 16 years and now appreciate Spanish food. I am annoyed at myself for wasting time in those first years of life abroad.

So my relationship with Spanish ham has been quite a rollercoaster ride. For the first 3 or 4 years in Spain I wouldn´t even try it. Then one day I was a guest at a Spanish wedding in Sitges.

Spanish Tapas at piccavey.com

The wedding ceremony was at midday. We had to drive from the church to the place of the celebration. Later on that afternoon we were awaiting the happy couple after taking the wedding photos. We hadn´t eaten lunch yet. It was late, after 4pm.  So when the only thing offered as the aperitif was good quality Spanish ham I no choice but to try it. This was my introduction to this Spanish delicacy.

As time progressed I got used to it and even began to enjoy it. Now, years on, it is a regular in my packed fridge along with other local Spanish goodies. I usually have a chunk of queso manchego, a few bottles of local craft beer and a stash of oranges from Lecrin, chilled to make juice.

So when the people at Jamonprive UK asked me to sample their wares I was thrilled. This online store stocks the proper stuff from Spanish producers. I tried their Salchichon and acorn-fed Iberian ham.

This specialist Jamon Iberico store works with Ibericos Dehesa Casablanca and other Spanish brands. The pigs that graze Salamanca fields are acorn fed. They are free to roam the meadows and mountain pastures and only eat what’s available to them there. They feed on acorns, grass, herbs and roots.

Although I have tasted different Spanish ham over the years I´ve been in Spain I haven´t tasted anything quite like this. I could taste the nutty flavor of the acorns. The ham was finely sliced and had a juicy texture. It was much less salty than others I have tried and had the layers had a deep intense colour. This ham is cured for 40 months and produced with patience and care in this family business. This has the quality stamp of: DOP Guijuelo- Salamanca which informs us of the region where it’s produced.

This year, 2014 a new labelling system has been introduced for Spanish ham, allowing consumers to understand the different qualities.

Spanish Ham quality

  • Black label is for Acorn fed 100% Iberian breed pigs  –  Jamon Iberico de Bellota 100%
  • Red label is Acorn fed cross bred pigs – Jamon Iberico de Bellota
  • Green Label – free to roam and fed with cereales or grain – Jamon Iberico de Cebo de Campo
  • White Label – these pigs are fed with cereales or grain but are kept in pens – Jamon Iberico de Cebo

Jamon Privee – How to order

  • They deliver to ALL EU countries. Jamonprivé unfortunately does not offer USA delivery at the moment.
  • For orders of 200 euros or more delivery is FREE.   
  • For orders less than 200 euros. The shipping cost (with TNT) calculated based on the weight of your order and fuel costs. The delivery is secure and has a unique tracking number. The products are ship straight from the producer to the customer´s delivery address.
  • An example would be one leg of Spanish ham to the United Kingdom. Depending on the exact weight it would cost 19 to 22 euros delivery.

 

Jamonprive
 I sampled a pack of sliced salchichon and a pack of sliced spanish ham from Ibericos Dehesa Casablanca via Jamon Prive in May 2014. As seen in the photo above.

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