Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Let Me Tell You About My Ham

It all started on the beach of Castelldefels, outside of Barcelona. I was in one of the restaurant/containers on the promenade & I wanted lunch. When in Spain, one does not eat sandwiches. One eats bocadillos - crispy baguette-like rolls with 1 - 2 fillings (ham or cheese). I saw the bocadillos with Serrano ham, as well as Jamon Iberico. I went for the Jamon Iberico, even though I didn't know what it was; "Iberian Ham" - when in Iberia... It was a 9€ sandwich, and completely worth it. Ever since then, I have scoffed at Jamon Serrano, even though it is much easier to find. Jamon Iberico, the more elusive ham, is a different variety of pig, it is feed a different diet, and is aged longer. In the last 6 months, I have bought 2 hams (one shoulder, one rear leg) and my life seems to revolve around it - making sure it doesn't melt in the morning sun, worrying about it while I'm on vacation - I'm into my ham.

Last night, I needed to cook the monster asparagus I bought from the farm. They were giant stalks, at least 1 1/2 " in diameter. I wasn't all that into making a soup or crepes or anything phenomenally out of the world. I just wanted to use the asparagus as long as it was still good. I opted for a variation of a German classic: boiled asparagus, boiled potatoes and cooked ham, all with Hollandaise sauce. Instead of a hollandaise, I used the wild leek pistou I have kicking around, and tossed the potatoes in that. And instead of cooked ham, I used my Jamon Iberico, which has been drying on my kitchen table for the last 3 weeks.

A little bit of lemon juice for the potatoes and the asparagus - Mucho yummy!


Cathy said...

I just finished a book called Everything But the Squeal...written buy a guy in Spain who spent a year trying to eat inch of the pig.....rather interesting.

Amanda said...

Here in Canada, pork producers are starting to suffer because consumers have been misguided to think that they risk catching the H1N1 virus from the meat. Sigh. I'm going to make sure I buy some pork this weekend--maybe a ham, now that you've inspired me!

taste traveller said...

Cathy: thanks for the reading tip - I'll look for it!

Amanda: I can believe that this virus has caused sensationalism. Pity. I would go grab a ham or some pork cutlets. But just make sure you don't leave your ham on the table for months, unless it's been cured for a year! :-)

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