epicurious.com - February 18, 2014
The One-Percenter's Guide to Pork: The Best Pork, Ham, and Bacon in the World
Not all pork products are created equal. Just imagine for a moment that money was no object, that no supernal slice of lavishly marbled ham or haute hunk of succulent pork was too high-end or high-falutin' for your budget. Here, our mini guide to some of the finest, most exclusive, pork, ham, and bacon in the world.
Jamon Iberico de Bellota
Celebrated El Bulli chef Ferran Adria once said of this traditionally cured Spanish ham, "Iberian pork meat is extraordinary. There's nothing like it elsewhere in the world. There's a great difference between a superior ham and all the rest."
Raised along the Spain/Portugal border, the pata negra (black-hooved) pig roams free-range through old-growth oak forests, dining on herbs, grass, and, most significantly, acorns (bellota means "acorn"), resulting in an intensely flavored, distinctly nutty, and richly marbled meat unparalleled in the ham universe.
Get It: A 14.5-pound bone-in whole Jamon Iberico de Bellota ham from elite Spanish brand Cinco Jotas retails for $1,290 at La Tienda. But, wait, you'll need to properly slice it, too, so consider investing in the Cinco Jotas Cortador kit--including a 13-pound bone-in Bellota ham, a black ham holder, two carving knives, serving pincers, and a protective chain-mail glove--which will set you back $2,450.
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