HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What are you cooking today? Get great advice
TELL US

Where to buy Jamon Serrano/Iberico de Bellota?

n
nommingudon Nov 21, 2011 10:03 AM

My sister is coming from Manhattan to visit me out in Wisconsin. I have been craving jamon of all types, but can't find it here in Wisco, so I've asked her to bring me some. I know Despana has it, but I am trying to find a place closer to her house (Financial District - I know, a long shot considering food options) or her work (basically on top of the Holland tunnel) since she will be swamped before she leaves. Thanks!

-----
Despana
408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

  1. a
    Alan Henderson Nov 21, 2011 11:00 AM

    Despana is not so far from on top of the Holland tunnel, both are on Broome St. If you are going to make the investment you should have her go there and have it hand sliced by the experts. The 5 jota is delicious by the way, best by far that I've had in the States.

    -----
    Despana
    408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

    10 Replies
    1. re: Alan Henderson
      k
      kathryn Nov 21, 2011 11:38 AM

      Second Despana (they hand slice, the "proper" way, the other places like Murray's and Dean & Deluca are machine slicing).

      Heartily second the Cinco Jotas (5Js) brand (technical note: what they are sellingin the USA now is paleta).

      Jamon iberico in the US is usually Fermin brand. The sales person at Despana explained to me that the Fermin pig is acorn-finished in the last 3 days of life (which surprised me), as opposed to being wild and acorn-fed for its entire life, like the 5Js brand. The 5Js brand has a lot more cachet in Spain.

      Only in the last month or so has 5Js (Cinco Jotas) brand been available in the USA (due to years it took for FDA approval). Only the paleta is available, for now. The bellota is coming soon in 2012, because it takes much longer to cure.

      The 5J's paleta is much more expensive than the Fermin jamon iberico bellota. The 5J's jamon paleta is $175/lb, hand-sliced at Despana. The taste difference is evident: the 5Js jamon is nuttier, sweeter, and much more luscious of a jamon than Fermin's. (If the 5Js paleta is already this good, I can't wait to taste the 5Js iberico bellota!)

      -----
      Despana
      408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

      1. re: kathryn
        n
        nommingudon Nov 21, 2011 01:35 PM

        Thanks for the info. I was under the mistaken impression that all pigs who become jamon iberico are fed the acorns for large portions of their lives, with iberico de bellota being acorns only, but Wikipedia tells me I am wrong. http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam%C3%B...

        1. re: kathryn
          r
          RCC Nov 21, 2011 02:05 PM

          I love Despana store, but i notice that sometimes the sales person at Despana will try to over-do the the upmanship of their products, and sometimes there is that slight tone of arrogance as they think that all people who buy from them do not know anything about Spain and Spanish food products.

          First of all, there are only a few months in the year when acorns drop from trees to the ground in Spain.

          In any case, as far as I know, Fermin's Iberico de bellota are allowed to roam free during montanera or the autumn season when acorns fall on to the mountain grounds. Finally, there is the 3 MONTHS prior to slaughter when these pigs are fed acorns. Not 3 days.

          -----
          Despana
          408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

          1. re: RCC
            Duppie Nov 21, 2011 02:37 PM

            OK, I'm sure that all that is very interesting and quite accurate but does it have any bearing on the OP's inquiry? Despana offers a selection of the Jamons regularly,knows the correct way to slice and package it and is usually less expensive than their competition.

            -----
            Despana
            408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

            1. re: Duppie
              r
              RCC Nov 21, 2011 03:46 PM

              Quite accurate? Do you have first hand knowledge to share otherwise?

              Just correcting incorrect information that were initially posted. However, while you don't care for,the nuances and intricacies that differentiate production, tastes and prices of Spanish hams, others in this forum obviously do.

              Besides, and it is easy to tell had you read the thread carefully, that the OP was grateful for addtional information. Makes for a well informed consumer to know the difference between the $175/lb ham from one that's $125/lb.

            2. re: RCC
              k
              kathryn Nov 21, 2011 07:45 PM

              Thanks! That's very interesting--I can't help but wonder why the 5Js tasted so good in comparison to the Fermin, though. Perhaps some other difference in diet or breeding.

              Have you tried the 5Js coming into the USA now? Reactions? Thoughts?

              1. re: kathryn
                r
                RCC Nov 22, 2011 03:52 PM

                I have not tried the 5Js that's coming into the USA now. I'm not sure if I'd want to buy, given the local high prices and the much lower prices in Spain as we usually make a once-a-year visit. Although, last I tried during a friend's invite at their home in Madrid a year and ahalf ago, it was all sweaty from the fat and exquisitiely nutty, with that fine buttery flavor and, yes, some nice pickled fruit notes. I was also a bit wined out when we were having them after a very late dinner that was preceded by a few rounds of tapas and plenty of drinks ... at that point, a lot of good things just taste plain good.

                I'm sure the 5J is worth the high premium. Just make sure that the drinks that go with them are the approrpiate ones.

            3. re: kathryn
              f
              foodwhisperer Nov 21, 2011 08:01 PM

              Despagna is definitely the place for the jamon. I bought all the varieties they had including the machine sliced ham to make sandwiches. The $175/lb melted in your mouth, it was the Otoro of ham. The less expensive hand sliced were also delicious. But OMG the best of the best was truly amazing. Several Spanish restuarnts get their jamon from Despagna but none get the really reallly good one.

              1. re: foodwhisperer
                k
                kathryn Nov 21, 2011 08:50 PM

                According to their Twitter feed, Tertulia is now selling the 5 Jotas jamon.

                -----
                Tertulia
                359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                1. re: kathryn
                  erica Nov 22, 2011 04:19 AM

                  Interesting video (in Spanish) on cutting jamon Iberico.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOAZfR...

          2. r
            RCC Nov 21, 2011 10:30 AM

            In case you decide to spare your sister of the task, here's a popular site that sells 'em online and will ship to you in Wisco:

            http://www.tienda.com/

            But, Despana is the best place for jamon.

            -----
            Despana
            408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

            1 Reply
            1. re: RCC
              n
              nommingudon Nov 21, 2011 01:23 PM

              I love La Tienda but now that I've started grad school it's a little hard to justify the shipping fees from VA to Wisco :( My plan is to go to their massive warehouse this summer when I'm back east.

            2. c
              cnr.one Nov 21, 2011 10:26 AM

              Fairway and maybe now at Murray's Cheese.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/02/din...

              Would be great to hear what people think for anyone here that tried the import.

              -----
              Murray's Cheese
              254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

              Fairway Market
              2127 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

              Show Hidden Posts