Posted February 12, 2008
On Sunday 10 February I read an entertaining restaurant review by Jay Ruyner in the Manchester (UK) Guardian. He made one comment which is piece of wisdom: "It's all very well to source Iberian ham, but to machine cut it is an insult to the pig."
This is why we take whole hams and Paletas Iberico that have been imported from Spain, and slice them each week here in Virginia. Any slicing done in Spain has to have been executed weeks,or even months, before.
If the slicing is done by volume in a factory then a machine is the only efficient way to go. The result is thicker slices resting in a plastic vacuum pack for several weeks. The flavor is bound to deteriorate.
So we at La Tienda have a a professional, who with a deft hand transforms our shoulder or ham into paper-thin slices: the thinner the slices, the better the Iberico. He drives up to Toano each week to pick up some more hams or paletas.
There are no better Iberico slices in America. Unless you are a proficient professional, they are better than if you did the slicing yourself.