Costco Treasure Hunt: Iberico de bellota ham
At a Costco store opening in St. Charles, I came across a real culinary world treasure that supposedly is now available at selected Costco stores in the Midwest: Iberico Jamon de bellota - acorn-finished Iberico ham. It is positioned in the shelf right next to caviar, duck confit, pate and lobster meat. The package at Costco is pre-sliced 4oz for 29.99USD, which makes it 119USD/lb.
Jamon Iberico de bellota is the pride of Spain and one the most exclusive pleasures to your palate. It is a Grand Cru of hams! The free indiginous Iberian black hoof pig - also known as Pata Negra - is free-ranging in the woodlands of Spain - the dehesa - and exclusively feeds on acorns that fall from the trees. After 3 years of curing in the mountains of Salamanca, the ham develops its complexity that is unmatched.
Since it is only since beginning of this year legally available in the US, only absolute foodies or Spain travelers know about this treasure. Here is the website of the importer with some cool videos: www.solexpartners.com/media/iberico
On other places in the city like Sam's Wine & Spirits or Fox and Obel you might find it also. But if you want to try the acorn-finished you have to make sure it is "bellota" and not regular Iberico ham.
I called Treasure Island a few months ago looking for a specific Spanish cheese (can't seem to remember it)...de burgos perhaps? Anyway, the Solex rep happened to be there hosting some sort of Spanish foods tasting, they put him on the phone...thought this was quite cool eh! The long short of it is that I do believe that quite a few Spanish products are now available at Treasure Island, including the Jamon Iberico de Bellota!