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May 3, 2008 01:29 PM

New at Atwater Market

So it turns out Wiliam J. Walter is still at Atwater market, and has a new small sign - but they only occupy a portion of their old space. The rest is shared by Charcuterie de Tours, and (today's big news, at least for me) Les Cochons Tout Ronds!!

And, as if that wasn't enough to make my day, Fromagerie Atwater now has jamon iberico in. It's yummy, but it's also $269/kg. (no, that wasn't a typo, unfortunately...) At four times the price, is it four times as good as the jamon serrano they carry? I'm not sure about that. It's not quite as decadently rich as the iberico I had in Europe, the one they carry here is a bit drier, and much less fatty. But still, for around $5 you can get a nice snack-sized amount of it to enjoy...

And while I was busy spending all of my money at Fromagerie Atwater, I noticed that they also now carry Christine Ferber jams, I think they had four different flavours, all look lovely and are around $16 each. (they had a chocolate and berry one, a raspberry and rose petal, and one or two others I can't remember offhand).

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  1. Cherylmtl, the jamon iberico - is it pata negra bellota?

    I clearly need to get my butt there soon.

    14 Replies
    1. re: moh

      I don't know for sure, but I assume it is indeed bellota - there were no tags on it, unfortunately. It comes from the importer who was mentioned in the Globe last month, and that's what he's supposedly brought into Canada.

      1. re: cherylmtl

        Hamel in JTM also had the bellota for the ungodly sum of around $270/kg. There was no price tag on the sign indicating "Bellota", so I requested 10 slices. After she sliced 1 slice, a co-worker whispered something in her ear & she then asked me if I knew how much it cost. The one itty bitty thin thin slice was $3.50 & I told her that no matter how good it was, I could not justify the $/slice ratio. And the reason I keep going back to Hamel ... she cut that itty bitty little slice in 2 & offered up a thimble-sized piece to my sister & I. Yes, the taste was incredible ... but still!

        1. re: RhondaB

          Now I'm wondering how much the Montreal restaurants will be charging for it?

          1. re: RhondaB

            At Atwater, there is a sign in front very clearly indicating the price. And they still ask everyone who orders it if they are aware of the cost (and I was not alone in ordering it - while they may not sell a massive amount, I have no doubt they will manage to move it along on a regular basis).
            And it's hard to justify the $/slice ratio on a regular basis, but from time to time it's a lovely splurge (I'm just worried how regularly that will start occurring in my house!)

            1. re: RhondaB

              RhondaB, thanks for the warning! It is good to have the $3.50 a slice information, as $270/kg is hard for me to visualize.

              Gulp! I'd better start saving my pennies. (well, loonies and toonies). But I do recall seeing it in the market in Barcelona selling for about 120 Euros per kg a few years ago (about $175 Canadian back then). So the stuff ain't that cheap even in Spain.

              $3.50 a slice is still cheaper than a ticket to Spain, and more feasible for me right now.

              1. re: moh

                I stand corrected - my sis recalls that the price was $350/kg. That would more accurately explain a sliver costing $3.50. Break it down into grams & hey - it's not so bad.

                1. re: moh

                  In France, it was around 220 euros/kg, so it's actually a little less expensive here (although that was for the top top quality bellota, but still, the least expensive bellota wasn't exactly inexpensive there). And $5.00 will get you a few slices at Atwater (enough for a decent slice each for three of us)

                  1. re: cherylmtl

                    Cherylmtl, I have doubts I would be satisfied with just one slice!!! I can unfortunately put back a lot of jamon iberico. Still, it sounds like I could get a satisfying snack for $20. I've spent more on sillier things...

                    1. re: moh

                      Its the jamon iberico de recebo and not bellota. But it is made with the pata negra pig - it's just a question of how it's raised and finished. It's amazing none the less.Worth every penny.

                      1. re: swissfoodie

                        Pata negra here I come. Thanks for the detective work Swissfoodie!

                        1. re: swissfoodie

                          "Its the jamon iberico de recebo and not bellota."

                          Just came back from a ride to Atwater market and finally purchased some of the jamon iberico. From the looks of it, it is recebo, which is made from pigs fed with a combination of grains and acorn (Bellota comes from pigs that are fed only acorns in the final fall fattening period). This ham is much paler than bellota, and as Cherylmtl mentions, less decadently rich than bellota.

                          Still, the recebo is quite delicious. It is very smooth in texture, with a nice layer of creamy fat. The ham has a nutty, sweet flavour that enhances the wonderful porkiness.

                          I have decided to just eat this stuff straight. No cooking with it, no adding other ingredients (well, I might make an exception if I have a really wonderful fig, tomato or melon - but it has to be perfect!!!) Just eat it and appreciate the perfection that is good air-cured ham.

                          1. re: moh

                            According to Cat MacPherson(who has a food segment on CBC Radio Montreal's Home Run program), Fromagerie Hamel has bellota($350/kg), while Fromagerie Atwater will get it soon.

                            1. re: BLM

                              -Dribble- dribble-

                              (Sound of saliva dropping on the floor at the thought of bellota)

                          2. re: swissfoodie

                            Ok folks - Atwater has the bellota. It's $35.00/100grs or $350 the kilo but it is an experience. Three slices cost me $13 and I don't regret it. It's nutty, salty, sweet, rich, light, amazing, phenomenal; I don't know how to qualify it other than whoa. Get thee some - it's a holiday weekend, you deserve it!