Wednesday, July 22, 2015

De Pata Negra

Pata Negra (black hoof), Jambón Ibérico, Jambón Ibérico de bellota not to be confused with the Jambón Serrano coming from the white pig in the eastern part of Spain.  The Jambón Ibérico is coming from the Ibérico breed of pigs known for its flavorful fat. And my is it wonderful. What makes this ham so special is what they eat.  Like anything really when it is feed good, but in particular the acorns that are a must in their diet make them taste so good.  The acorns have the same oleic acid that is found in olives.  This tastes makes its way into the fat of the animal giving it it's flavors and also it's delicacy, and as the Spaniards will say "olives with legs".  Resulting in a very creamy delicate fat.  Also the pigs themselves are known for their large bellies and little skinny legs.  See photo below...

On our recent trip to one of the Canary Islands (Tenerife) we had a really great recommendation to visit this lovely aperitif hot spot Depatanegra who also conveniently has a little specialty shop right next door for your at home consumption.  My taste buds have never felt so good, from the wonderful staff who were friendly and also knowledgeable and not to mention  patient (my italospanish is not so good) we ended up tasting the more interesting wines of the island a big surprise for my Nebbiolo taste buds and tasting our way through an over generous plate of Pata Negra!

We got to taste from the North West Salamanca and to the South West we tasted from the Huelva and Córdoba and then there was the Extremadura.  Each one was excellent in it's own way but for me the favorite was the Córdoba having such a rich nutty fruity taste in comparison to the others. 

If you are ever in Tenerife you must check them out.