Iberian Porkland or Spain: Land o’ Ham (May 2007)

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The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot — And whether pigs have wings.
If they did, they’d steer clear of ham loving Spain.

This is the place where it seems as though every second block has a ham emporium. Paradise of Ham, Museum of Ham or Emperor Ham to name a couple of the chains. The picture above was taken in the Museu del Jamon, a place to buy or eat ham. The ceilings are covered with curing hams and I calculated that there might be about a quarter of a million dollars of ham hanging there, and then failed to be able to imagine how many times I would have to multiply this to get Madrid’s ham supply.

There’s quite a range and a connoisseur would have a field day but we had the basic plate with some red wine. Not bad but nothing remarkable but who’s to say the ham to die for wasn’t lurking somewhere in the establishment.

Slicers of ham have their own competitions being judged on consistency of thickness as well as speed. Kind of your ham barista.

This is certainly a land where ham handed might be considered good, to ham it up would be to improve something and to be a ham might be both envied and dangerous to the health.

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