Posted April 10, 2009
"Close your eyes and imagine that you are sitting in a small bar in Andalucia, Spain.
In front of you, a grumpy-looking man in a an ill-fitting white dinner jacket is wielding a long, sharp knife and taking small, thin slices from an Iberico ham that he has locked into a weathered stand. The legs of many pigs have given their all upon this stand.
As he slices, he places each piece of the deeply flavored meat onto a large plate in concentric circles, like the petals of a flower. Like yours, his attention is on the ham, and only the ham. It is as if nothing else on this earth matters — and it doesn’t. This is, after all, the greatest single item of food on the face of the planet. Forget your truffles and caviar. If you want proof of the existence of God, this is it.
When, after what seems like an eternity, he has finished his cutting, he places a few fried almonds in the center of the plate and slides it towards you.
Next to the plate, he places a small glass, a copita, which he fills close to the brim with a buttery-colored Manzanilla sherry whose saltiness you know will be the perfect foil for the richness of the ham and its creamy fat flavored with the acorns upon which the pig has fed before giving up its life for your pleasure.
Your mouth salivates at the prospect. You reach towards the plate, your fingers aiming for the choicest morsel...."