Posted January 07, 2008
The first Ibérico Bellota is here. But it is time for you to sharpen your critical tools of discernment. Remember when some manufacturers printed “Iberian ham” on the label of Jamón serrano, implying that it was Ibérico?
In fact, the first Paleta Ibérico Bellota is here. It is not the first Jamón Ibérico Bellota. They are two different cuts of meat from the same animal. The Paleta is the front shoulder of the special acorn - finished Ibérico pig, whereas the jamón (ham) is the rear haunch.
The Paleta shoulder is significantly more slender, with less meat. Therefore the shoulder needs less time to cure. For this reason the paleta arrived in the United States earlier than the ham. The larger, meatier Jamón takes at least two years to cure. We anticipate it will be available in July 2008.
As a preview of what bellota is all about, La Tienda is hand-slicing Paleta bellota in 4 ounce vacuum sealed packets. Purchase one of these from Jamón.com and you can have a hint of what all the fuss is about - without having to pawn the family jewels.