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jamón ibérico de bellota

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  • mrouq Oct 12, 2012 01:37 PM

Does anyone know where I can buy a whole jamón ibérico de bellota (and stand) in LA to have at my home (!)? If not in LA, online sites that are reputable/trustworthy for this? Thanks.

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  1. You can call La Espanola in Harbor City and ask them if they do, but I do not know of a place. In LA that sells the whole ham & stand.

    Tienda.com is a good mail order source.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      Thanks, will look into this!

    2. You might check with these guys and see what they can tell you http://www.laespanolameats.com/mm5/me...

      1. Jamón ibérico de bellota is difficult to import into the U.S. There are no good sources in L.A. that I or my wife (born and raised in Madrid) are aware of.

        La Espanola offers sliced jamón ibérico, but not a whole one. You MAY, however, be able to procure a stand there.

        Good luck.

        1. online you can try http://www.tienda.com/jamon/whole-ham... if you feel like spending a thousand bucks...
          I've bought other Spanish products from La Tienda and they're as authentic as they come. Just beware because you will forever receive daily promotions and rebates in your mailbox.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bad nono

            La Tienda is about the only way to get what the OP wants, just about anywhere in the US (outside NY, and I'm not certain the place I'm thinking of has whole legs available).

            1. re: MGZ

              There's a store right by Las Vegas airport that sells bellota, foie, and will mail whatever you want:

              artisanalfoods.com

          2. Guess nobody around here reads others' comments.....

            There is also a Spanish store, I forget the name, in the original farmers market on third street. Doubt they sell whole hams, but they may have a source for you.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              The place in the Farmer's Market at Third & Fairfax is called Little Spain, and the food is pretty bland there. I wouldn't trust them for a big purchase like a whole jamon.

              And as for reading other's comments, I do. It just so happens that as I was typing my comments, the others chimed in just seconds ahead of me (note the time stamps).

              1. re: J.L.

                I only recommended the place in the farmers market since I recalled looking at their authentic Spanish food products. I did not expect them to sell him a whole ham, but if they buy them wholesale, maybe he could find out where they go through.

                And, actually, it wasn't your post I was referring to.... ;-))

                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  :-)

                  After 1 meh meal and a second bad meal there, I'd recommend avoiding Little Spain altogether.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    Well, you would know better, I have never eaten there. Was just a bit psyched to find a brick & mortar that sold Spanish products....seems to be rare out here.

            2. The hams on Tienda.com look amazing (yes, also v expensive). . . thanks everyone!

              1. Try Surfas

                1. You could always call Rivera restaurant and ask where they got theirs.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Jack Flash

                    Rivera's jamon is terrible.

                    The only good Spanish ham I've had at a L.A. restaurant was at Jose Andres' Bazaar (and I've spoken with Chef Andres about it - he imports his own jamon).

                    1. re: J.L.

                      Seriously? Glad I didn't splurge on it, then. But I find it hard to believe that it could truly be "terrible." I mean, it's still jamon iberico de bellota; how bad can it be?

                      1. re: J.L.

                        That is strange because I thought the Iberico at Rivera was excellent but that was the only place I've tried it. I know they get theirs from Fermin which is the company by Jose Andres which doesn't make sense then if you liked it at the Bazaar. Could it be maybe the person cutting it at Rivera butchered it?

                        1. re: J.L.

                          My experiences at Rivera (I ordered it twice, thinking the first time was a fluke. But both times it turned out bad):

                          As many of you know, when serving jamon iberico in general, it is supposed to be cut so thinly that each slice is almost transparent. This is because the richness of the curing is so intense; the thinner the slice, the more "melt-in-your-mouth" the taste. Whoever cut my jamon at Rivera must have thought that it was Denny's breakfast ham - Those slices could stop a bullet! (OK I exaggerate, but to illustrate a point)

                          Now you say, this is a service error, not a jamon quality issue. True, but when I tasted the jamon at Rivera (both times), aside from the slab-like cutting job, the taste was off. The curing wasn't as "smooth" (for lack of a better phrase") as jamon iberco de bellota should be. Not worth the $ one pays for this stuff at Rivera.

                          Incidentally, a few years back, Jose Andres' company imported some of his jamon to Bristol Farms, priced at $132.00/lb. Now THAT was decent jamon in L.A. Since then, I've not been able to find it.

                          1. re: J.L.

                            That's a ridiculous price. Most restaurants pay something like half that, sucks that it's so hard to find Fermin stuff.

                            1. re: J.L.

                              purchased and greedily consumed my 1oz purchase of jamon iberico bellota last night from bristol farms. unfortunately i didn't catch her name but the lady at deli service counter of south pasadena location was fantastic. paper thin, evenly sliced, perfectly packaged. despite $144/lb (currently on sale $5 off), i'd happily buy more because there's just nothing else like it. i did a side-by-side comparison of san daniele imported proscuitto (also on sale, $25/lb) and it wasn't even close.

                              fyi, i bought identical jamon (or at least i thought it was the same) before from monsieur marcel at fairfax/3rd farmers market and it just wasn't as good. not sure why if fermin's the only importer of this stuff?

                              1. re: zack

                                Beautiful report, zack. I'll make a beeline for it, post haste. Great to hear that the person who served you knows how to properly cut the jamon.

                                My 2 pesetas (before the the ascendency of the Eurozone): When it comes to Spanish ham vs. all other hams... Not even a close contest.

                              2. re: J.L.

                                "Whoever cut my jamon at Rivera must have thought that it was Denny's breakfast ham -"
                                J.L. you have to warn us if you're going to drop a funny like that. I almost spit my drink onto the keyboard. Thanks for the hardy laugh.

                                1. re: J.L.

                                  If you have a whole one of these hams, trying the meat sliced into different thicknesses is actually a great deal of fun. While it is true that paper thin, lardo like, slices are the traditional serving, I think a slice at around an eighth of an inch has a great deal of merit since it permits an al dente joy. When you buy a thousand dollar ham, it's silly not to play with your food a bit.

                                  1. re: MGZ

                                    There was some great discussion here of how to keep whole jamon iberico at home so it wouldn't spoil. Since that's of interest to more than just LA hounds, we split it over to our General Topics board so it would be available to anyone who was searching for it. It's now here: http://www.chow.com/topics/874081

                                  2. re: J.L.

                                    First time I had it at Bazaar it pretty much sucked. Like tired old ham.

                                    Second time, however and it was magic.

                                  3. re: J.L.

                                    Yes, it is at Bazaar where I recently tasted this and decided I wanted to get some of this. . . although it's been on my mind to do for a while

                                2. Umamicatessen in DTLA has it. But since they retail it, they may be sourcing it from someplace like La Tienda, too.

                                  1. Wally's Cheese Store on Westwood Blvd has it...last time I was there, maybe three months ago, they had a whole (or nearly whole) ham...I think it was $800 or something like that...about $140/lb, which is the going rate, I believe.

                                    FWIW, I had some at Costco a couple years ago, when they first started importing it...I think 4 ounces was $40, but since there were no buyers, they reduced it to under $20...it was pretty, pretty good!

                                    1. In case anyone's still looking, La Española has carried Fermin's whole jamón ibérico de bellota at least since I visited in April 2012, as well as the stand.

                                      And more recently it started selling 5J's (Cinco Jota's), per the page Servorg linked.
                                      http://www.laespanolameats.com/mm5/me...

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                        5J is legit. I'm glad Alex at La Espanola is able to get it through customs now.

                                        1. re: J.L.

                                          Thanks for the word. It's cropping up more often in San Francisco these days. I've not had a chance to try it yet. There's one store that carves a shoulder on Sundays.
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8691...

                                          And I'm bummed that I can't go to Cinco Jota's tasting (free!) on Monday.
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8175...

                                          1. re: J.L.

                                            Read your post from last year above. I think I actually ordered jamon iberico de bellota at the Bazaar when I went there several yrs ago. I don't remember being particularly impressed w/ the taste (it was very, er, subtle). OTOH, I recently had some prosciutto (cortodella?) from a market when I was in Europe, and I was totally blown away by how rich and delicious it was. I know very little about jamon vs. prosciutto; should they be on the same spectrum in terms of actual flavor?

                                            1. re: ilysla

                                              Supposedly in jamon iberico de bellota, one can taste the hint of nuttiness from the acorn diet.

                                              In prosciutto di Parma sometimes I catch a sweetness and scent reminiscent of parmiggiano reggiano. Texture wise I find it silkier. I'm only talking prosciutto de Parma and not the other kinds.

                                              Not sure if it is the power of suggestion or what.

                                              Side by side though, I usually find myself preferring jamon iberico de bellota.

                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                Thanks for the response. I do taste sweetness from prosciutto (I'm not familiar w/ the subtypes), but the jamon iberico I had was so delicate that could only get a slight hint of meat/fat/porky-ness.

                                                Hmmm.... perhaps a side-by-side taste test is in order (esp since La Espanola has small packages of jamon iberico available).... ;)

                                                1. re: ilysla

                                                  Make sure it is jamon iberico de bellota and not just jamon iberico if you're doing your taste test. Just like to make sure it's prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele and not domestic.

                                        2. great source at the Farmer's Market in Studio City (sundays) - Españolita Foods. I know she caters, etc, but sells quality meat, in addition to olives, cheese, etc. http://www.espanolitafoods.com/p/gall...

                                          1. La Espanola in Harbor City carries Jamon Iberico de Bellota but you'll have to order it. They also carry the stand.