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Iberico, Serrano, Mangalica, Oh My! The 411 on Spanish Hams

Spanish Hams 101

Jaume Guerra looks at me with a blank stare when I ask how he became interested in the world of Spanish hams. “Ham is a part of life in Spain,” he says, as if it was inevitable that he would become a master carver of piernas. I’m meeting with Guerra for a tutorial in Spanish jamónes, which, like any food or drink, become increasingly complex and fascinating the more you learn about them. As a greater variety of hams from Spain becomes available at U.S. grocery stores and from specialty purveyors, including Despaña and D’Artagnanjamón aficionados may find themselves suddenly bewildered by the proliferation of choices in the meat department.

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