Expensive just got really expensive

The Boston Globe


February 12, 2009

Perhaps you've had the opportunity to try the exquisite jamon iberico de bellota, which began arriving legally in this country for the first time in August. The prized Spanish ham is an expensive treat, retailing for around $100 a pound, or $1,400 for a whole ham.

Victor Grillo (right, with Matthew Torti) was on a waiting list for jamon iberico de bellota for two years. When it arrived in August, he threw a party. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)

According to La Tienda, an importer instrumental in getting the ham into this country, the USDA has just put new regulations in place. The distinctive black hoof you can see in the photo above -- proof that what you're getting is the real thing -- must now be removed. And there is a new 100 percent tariff on all bone-in hams imported from Europe after March. Goodbye $1,400 ham, hello $2,800 ham.

La Tienda has a few remaining hoof-on hams at the old price. If you'd like to buy one, now is the time.

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