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Jan 3, 2005 01:27 PM

Serrano Ham

  • t

In July QC asked about the lovely ham from Spain. It is being imported now and is available at Pusateris (prepackaged at the usual inflated rates) and also at the deli at the St. Lawrence Market. Don't recall the name: east side, top floor. Other places as well, best to call the distributor.

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  1. The deli is Schefflers -- worth checking out for a variety of hams...and other salumeria products

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rick

      For those of you who live in the Hamilton/Burlington area - you can also get the delicious ham at Denningers. Not sure if all locations sell the ham, but the Burlington location does.


      1. re: Marino

        If you're in the West End, it's also available at Max's on Bloor St. West.

    2. p
      peppermint pate

      Have you tried the meat from Pusateri's? I bought some there a couple of weeks ago but I didn't like it too much. It tasted a bit "off" (somewhere between musty and bland), not at all like the Serrano ham I tried in Spain. Do you think this is just a by-product of the travel time or did I maybe just get a bad package?

      9 Replies
      1. re: peppermint pate

        No, haven't tried Pusateri; he's overpriced in a big way. I used to buy the Serrano from Loblaws in some areas and Longo's, also I believe Mario's. Can't find it lately and will go the Lawrence Market to buy it. I also lived in Spain for 10 years, but the jamon in Spain that you have in the stores and tapas is Jamon Iberico or better yet, the best Jamon Pata Negra. Once packaged and who knows how long it was in the package it loses its freshness. Just read Ricks comment and the deli in Lawrence Market is called Schefflers. Bon provecho!

        1. re: Louisella

          Schefflers sell Serrano ham sliced directly from the whole leg. However, what one gets in Toronto is the most inferior kind of Spanish hams. Apart from the obvious European centers, other places like the States (eg., NYC Dean & Deluca ), Tokyo or Hong Kong, one can even get Jamon Iberico Pata Negra de Bellota which had been cured from 12 months all the way up to 36 months!! The latter can be as expensive as genuine Japanese Wagyu beef Grade A5!! Unfortunately, Toronto does not have the population base to support such exotic products. Furthermore, Health Canada always like to put up unnecassary hurdles for imports!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Bans on imported pork products were lifted a few years ago, Charles. That's why Italian and Spanish hams suddenly appeared here, regardless of quality.

            1. re: Kagemusha

              That's not quite the situation. The problem was that the slaughterhouses weren't 'approved by FDA' (OK - not sure who actually does the 'approving' - but the principle is there). Once the 'approval' was received, only NEW product was allowed, so we're still only getting minimally aged product. Over time, the 'better' stuff wil arrive.
              For the time being, we're only getting product from mass producers who have the time and money to seek approval. For the most part, the artisinal product is still 'unapproved'.

              1. re: estufarian

                Not sure that's correct. The 60s swine flu scare was the cause of the ban that lasted until a few years ago in Canada and the US. Ever wonder why you never saw imported cured pork products in Canada?

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  Serrano ham continued to be available throughout the last 'many' years. So no 'general' ban. It was the Iberico that wasn't available anywhere in North America. The issue was certainly the unapproved slaughterhouses.
                  Wikipedia comments:

                  "Availability in the United States
                  Until recently, jamón ibérico was not available in the United States (a fact referenced in the movie Perdita Durango, where the ham of Jabugo is praised as "illegal, but delicious").

                  Prior to 2005, only pigs raised and slaughtered outside of Spain were allowed to be processed in Spain for export to the United States. In 2005 the first slaughterhouse in Spain, Embutidos y Jamones Fermín, S.L., was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture to produce ibérico ham products for export to the United States.

                  The first "jamones ibéricos" were released for sale in the United States in December 2007, with the bellota hams due to follow in July 2008. The basic jamón ibérico is priced upwards of $52 a pound, and the bellota is priced upwards of $96 a pound, making these hams the most expensive in the world.

                  Currently, the only United States-approved exporter of jamones ibéricos to the United States is Embutidos y Jamones Fermín from La Alberca (Salamanca), and the only importer is Fermin USA, which is a partnership between The Rogers Collection, chef José Andrés, and Embutidos y Jamones Fermín. Fermin USA distributes to numerous sources, including Dean & DeLuca, HotPaella, La Tienda, La Espanola Meats, and others."


                  And that's why it's so expensive - essentially a monopoly. That's also slaughtered the 'underground' channel - the 'under-the-counter' Iberico has now disappeared - the bellota was often available for less than the 'simple' Iberico costs now!

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      Canada copied the US regulations.
                      Italy (and Spain) are part of EEC - they have almost identical regulations within EEC.
                      Rest of the world had no issues - I saw various ages of Iberico in Japan.

            2. re: Charles Yu

              Pata Negra is available at La Salumeria at Yonge and Davisville.

        2. La Salumeria 2021 Yonge sells it at $6 for 100 grams. I never bought any Serrano there but if it is as good as the other items, it should be very good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lamaranthe

            I saw it at Metro, Bayview & Eg. $7 for a package. I forgot to check the weight. . This is only to let you know you can find it there.

          2. I've seen it at both Longos and Highland Farms.