Jamon Jamon

After years of waiting, Jamon Iberico direct from Spain has finally arrived in the US. The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills is among the first of the US stores to carry it. When I tried it there, it tasted as delicious as I’d expected. At $90 a pound, it was worth it.

Jamon Iberico is the top grade of Jamon Serrano. These acorn fed pigs are a Spanish national treasure. In Spain, you see this ham all over the place, legs hanging in shops, bars, restaurants and homes. The Spanish take great pride in their Serrano, and hand-slice the delicate meat with care. Even though The Cheese Store slices the ham with a deli machine instead of by hand, which takes training, the thin slices are still delicious, sometimes.

I’ve visited the Cheese Store twice since the Serrano arrived. The second time I tried the it was a bit of a disappointment. The man behind the counter informed me that he was opening up a new ham to slice, as if this was a privilege. He peeled off the airtight plastic wrap and started making some slices for me and my friends to taste. When he presented these little slices to us to taste, what I tasted was more like a Prosciutto than a Serrano. It was dry, almost dehydrated. He continued to cut slices and they did not improve. I asked if he could cut slices from the center and he said no. He told us to come back the next day, when they would be at the center of the ham.

I’ll be back sometime soon for that delicious ham from Espana. If you intend to purchase some, remember to try it before you buy it. The ends of hams are usually better for cooking with than eating directly. Add them to a split pea soup, eggs or even mac n' cheese like they do at Violet restaurant for a tasty treat.

The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
419 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills CA 90210
www.cheesestorebh.com 310.278.2855

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