Jamonisimo (Barcelona, Spain) – Call Me a Ham Snob

Based on my ham-loving-friend’s recommendation, I stopped by Jamonisimo for lunch. He told me the “Salamanca was life-changing.” Spain has a reputation for the world’s best ham but “life changing?” Yes, that ham was magical. As usual with these sorts of things, I can never go back.

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Jamonisimo is a retail store specializing in Montanera (free-range) bellato (only acorn-fed, highest quality) Iberian ham. They have a tasting room in the back where you can try various selections of ham (textures or regions), a few cheese selections, and various other cuts (including, but not limited to, chorizio & lomo.)

This will always be my lunch, no matter where I am within the city or how long I happen to be visiting. Exquisite stuff. I neglected to get producer/farm information but the store is dedicated to procuring the best artisanal hams in Spain – I’m a believer. For those that haven’t had grand ham, a decent analogy is this is to average ham what toro is to tuna.

The hams are presented below from lesser to most intense flavor (and fat.) Each has its own subtle characteristics that need to be tried. These are 1/2 portions, 12.50 euros each. On my 2nd lunch, I just got a big plate (25 euros) of the Salamanca.

Andalucia
From their literature (paraphrased):
“Altitude of these regions is 500 meters… set in salt for 14 days with a greater portion of fat trimmed to speed the curing time…”
Jaminisimo (Barcelona, Spain) - Andalucia Bellato Iberian ham

Jaminisimo (Barcelona, Spain) - Andalucia Bellato Iberian ham

Extramadura
From their literature (paraphrased):
Altitudes range from 700 to 1100 meters… kept in salt for 9-14 days… more fat trimmed so the salt penetrates quicker and thus cures faster…”
Jaminisimo (Barcelona, Spain) - Extramadura Bellato Iberian ham

Jaminisimo (Barcelona, Spain) - Extramadura Bellato Iberian ham

Salamanca
The toro of ham, nearly melts in your mouth, intense flavor, the sweetest of the three. From their literature (paraphrased):
“.. receives invigorating & constant flow of fresh, cool winds from the surrounding mountains… its altitude of 1000 feet and cold winds, fragrances of fallen branches and leaves can penetrate the aging hams. This, together with less trimming of the fat (of which there is more of) and less time in salt, produces a sweetier & juicer ham.”

Jaminisimo (Barcelona, Spain) - Salamanca Bellato Iberian ham

Jaminisimo (Barcelona, Spain) - Salamanca Bellato Iberian ham

Chorizio & Lomo
Jaminisimo (Barcelona, Spain) - Chorizio and Lomo

My friends can now add “Ham Snob” to my current “Sushi Snob” and “Restaurant Snob” designations.

- chuck

Official Site: http://www.jamonisimo.com/

Other Resources:

  • http://www.ForkandBottle.com Jack

    Ah-hah! You are now one of the Converted! While you’re there, please convince them to open a Janinisimo location in San Francisco.

    Oh, we’ve had one of those $1200 puppies on order forever (still ranks as the craziest thing we’ve ordered… or maybe it will somehow be worth it). Anyway, will keep you in mind if it ever arrives.

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  • Susan

    Amazing – I’m completely addicted to the stuff and can’t wait to visit jamonisimo in April. Do you have to book for tastings?

  • chuckeats

    Susan, I walked in and asked to sit in the back tasting room. It’s small (2 tables) so it’s possible they could be in use when you walk in; so it may help to call ahead.

  • guest

    It’s actually jamon de bellota, not bellato

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