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Feb 19, 2008 04:56 AM

Jamon Iberico ok to bring back ?

A co-worker brougjt me some Jamon Iberico from the U.S. but he didn't declare it. It was just 1/4 lb in slices and I am going to ask for 1/2 lb on his next trip. Is it ok to bring it back to Canada ?

hmmmm goodness

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  1. OK in what sense? Legal? Health-wise?

    11 Replies
    1. re: kpzoo

      sorry, i meant legal with customs and stuff.

      1. re: marblebag


        "a maximum of 5 kilograms of edible meats and meat products from cattle, sheep, goat, bison and buffalo."

        "All meat and meat products have to be identified as products of the United States."

        I don't know much about Jamon Iberico, but if it's not made in the US or identified as such, it look like it'd be a no-go. You can also call the agency and get the info straight from the horse's mouth.

        1. re: kpzoo


          A) I wouldn't trust an American jamón ibérico in the least.
          B) Short answer: No. More details here:

          1. re: zekesgallery

            " I wouldn't trust an American jamón ibérico in the least."

            Those lucky buggers in the States now have access to jamon iberico from Spain, so it might have been the real deal...

            When will it be legal here????? It is so unfair...

            1. re: moh

              I got a few slices from a quite good, if I may say so, Serrano at "La vieille europe" last week.

              Not as excellent as the Pata Negra I brought back from spain last year, but it was good.

              1. re: moh


                There's a big difference between a Spanish jamón ibérico procured in the US and an American jamón ibérico that would be legal to bring across the border.

                And from reading other posts around the internet - my guess would be that it will be possible to import the good stuff here soon, 2009 or so.

                1. re: zekesgallery

                  Oh how I hope you are right! Pata Negra, my heart weeps for you...

                  1. re: moh

                    They also have great Serrano at Fromagerie Atwater, and real French Rosette de Lyon sausage...

                    1. re: cherylmtl

                      I second the rec. for the serrano at the downstairs cheese shop at the market. It's especially tasty if you ask them to slice a little thicker than usual - you just get this incredible flavour in every bite- the texture also is nice with a thicker slice.

                      1. re: maisonbistro

                        Mrs. Rillettes is addicted to the stuff from Fromagerie and, although she's restricting her diet because of pregnancy, she refuses to give up the serrano. She simply nukes it for 5 seconds.
                        However, I ask the charcuterie guy there, the one who wears the beret, and he mentioned that they're trying to bring in jamón ibérico in the near future. I'm already looking into taking out a second mortgage to procure some.
                        Also, while at the Fromagerie, I highly suggest picking up some Kicking Horse coffee. Organic, fair trade, located in BC, and really good. They won my heart with pictures of various types of rock climbing on the bags, but alas no more.

                        1. re: rillettes

                          I love the serrano that Fromagerie stocks, but having finally tasted the jamón ibérico (bellota, no less...) a few weeks back (not in Montreal, unfortunately) I can hardly wait. I will be pestering them at Fromagerie on a regular basis for it.
                          As for Kicking Horse, I haven't tried it, but my son insisted on taking a photo of a bag of the Kick Ass blend last time we were there, which I now use as background on my cellphone (yes, I can say that I truly have a kick ass cellphone...).

      2. Only if it's made in the US. I've tried bringing some back from Spain 2 years ago, declared it of course and it was taken from me (I didn't know I wasn't allowed to bring it). On my last trip I brought back only canned seafood. No meats are allowed, unless they come in a can and even then no beef apparently. Fish is ok, for example, bacalao. That's what the customs guy told me.
        This just means I have an excuse to eat more of the stuff when I'm there!

        1. The restrictions are on fresh and processed meat, fish, and poultry products imported from regions outside North America. From the USA you can bring beef, pork, chicken and fish as long as it is for your own use. However, there is a restriction on fresh Turkey, where you are permitted a quantity per vehicle if crossing by land.

          I am not sure about the restrictions on USDA approved imported processed meats in to Canada, but typically, you will find that if you are crossing by land, that simply declaring groceries will not cause any scrutiny regardless of the contents.

          If bringing in meats from outside North America, the general rule is that if it is not in a sealed can, it is not permitted. As an example, a bloc de foie gras in a can will be permitted, but a mason jar of terrine de foie gras will not.

          The US is more restrictive than Canada about importing meats. If you vacation in the virgin Islands or other place where getting good meat is a challenge, and are traveling on a carrier that stops in US destinations, you can bring your meat. The permitted method is to ask your butcher to cryovac your order, place it all in a cooler and seal it, then ship the cooler as checked baggage through to a non-US destination.

          Of interest, you will also find that whole fruit is not permitted through agricultural restriction zones, like California, Florida and Puetro Rico, however, if the same fruit is sliced and put in a bag with your carry on, it is permitted and will not be confiscated. This is of value to those traveling with children. What is the logic behind this? Who knows.

          2 Replies
          1. re: fedelst1

            Oh, that explains why I've never had any trouble bringing fruit on an airplane. The woman sitting next to me was wondering how I'd managed as even her empty water bottle was taken from her. I imagine the logic is that you are eating the fruit before you land anyway.

            1. re: Plateaumaman

              Something to that effect. Although if the orange is sliced with the peel on, the potential larva of any pest living on the peel will still end up in land fill.

              While living in the middle east, the melon packing facility I was working in during melon season would spray the melon with a mixture made with an ammonia and other chemicals to kill any surface borne vermin, and shellac the skin with a virtually invisible coating. It can be assumed that fruits such as oranges and others with a peel that is normally tossed, must undergo the same process.

              This is the reason I am very selective about the lemmons I use for candied peel, or limoncello, and use the last of my stock pile of Fit (discontinued) fruit and vegetable wash to remove these waxes and pesticides.

          2. According to today's Globe & Mail, Jamon Iberico has now been cleared for import to Canada and a supplier (the only exporter to the US) has been found. The hams of Embutidos Fermin (a small-scale producer from La Alberca) will soon reach us!

            The article lists a couple of Toronto restaurants that will offer the jamon, and it gives information on where to get the jamon in Vancouver. It *says* that the ham will also be distributed in Montreal, but doesn't say where.

            The article:

            Anyone have any idea who might be distributing it, retailing it, or putting it on their menus?

            5 Replies
            1. re: lait cru


              I just emailed the Canadian who is importing it. If and when I hear I'll post it here. If anyone else wants to call or email:

              1. re: zekesgallery

                Awesome! I can't wait! yummmmm.

                I am hoping we'll be able to buy it here, but if we can only order in bulk, I'd certainly be willing to pitch in and help with distribution...

                1. re: moh


                  It appears that we will be able to get it here. The local distributor is Distributions Macchi, and tomorrow I will call them during business hours and report back...

                  1. re: zekesgallery

                    Hi zekesgallery - just an FYI, our info has changed, please find as at Thanks!

                2. Howdy!

                  Back to square one! Distributions Macchi has no clue what Jamon Iberico is, and keeps trying to suggest I get Jamon Serrano. If I get any further leads, I'll post 'em here.

                  In the meantime it does giv everyone time to start saving up...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: zekesgallery

                    Thanks for doing the legwork. I'll keep an ear to the ground and will check in with Fromagerie from time to time.

                    1. re: lait cru


                      Bronte is getting a jamón ibérico de bellota. If you want to eat it at home, so is La Vieille Europe although from what I was told it sounds like they are getting a recebo.

                      It is bonded (aka hanging out at Customs) right now and should be available in about two weeks. - More to follow as soon as I hear.