Old Ham

I've been looking at photos of legs of ham at IberGour. Strange you might think, but I defy anyone who enjoys ham to go to their site and not start imagining the salty, sweet tang of the fine Iberico hams. I'd love to try the so-called vintage hams, such as those produced by Maldonado, I've had a whole leg before and I don't think my carving did it justice - has to be hand-carved and it's a skill that takes a lot of practice. Lots of expensive waste. And with those vintage hams, that can mean very expensive.

This leads me on to another thought that keeps recurring. We learn so little about meat and butchery, I wonder why independent butchers don't run courses to educate those willing to learn on the cuts we can eat, and how to carve and cut meat properly. I can see myself in a butcher's apron with a straw boater.


  1. Iberian ham comes from a special breed of pig - black Iberian. These pigs spend a lot of time outside, exercising - though I’m not sure pigs have been known for the sporting abilities, and feeding on sweet acorns. Their lifestyle is what gives Iberian ham such characteristic flavour. I’m a little sceptical though as to whether ham aged for over 3 years substantially improves its taste, and also you can taste good Iberian ham and great Iberian ham, depending on the pig it comes from.

  2. Glad to hear that they enjoy exercise, a bit like young Mrs Tweedy. I prefer to think the pigs have had a happy existence before making the ultimate sacrifice.


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