Literally “acorn-acorn”. Jamon Iberico de Bellota refers a specific kind of spanish ham, made from hind legs of black pigs, that feed extensively on fallen acorns. The pigs roam freely in these idyllic rolling hills that are chockfull of oak trees that produce the acorns that feed the pigs. The hams are then carefully aged and produce the most amazing, deep red, intensely flavored ham. This shop, in Paris, seemed a bit out of place, but if you had a hankering for a bit of jamon with a glass of wine, this was the perfect little pit-stop…
Their chilled cabinets displayed all kinds of nibbles, from bits of ham, sausages, foie gras, pate, lard, sardines and wine/champagne.
They also had smoked salmon and several kinds of caviar.
A sturdy looking ham stand.
But the most interesting discovery for me that night was a custom-made “jamon serving platter” that looks a bit like a ceramic volcano partially seen in the photo above. Designed specifically by Bellota-Bellota and produced by Bernardaud no less, it was Euro 149 for a normal sized one. And they make a single serve size, for those who want to indulge alone. It’s purpose? You place it in the in center of your table, and it has a candle within, so that the ceramic surface warms up just slightly, enough to transfer heat to thin slices of jamon draped on its side… the warming gently releases the aroma and enhances the flavor of the jamon. So superfluous, you think, but if you’re going to spring for a whole damon iberico (they cost a MINT), why not spring for the little ceramic volcano as well and think of it as having tis serve your caviar with mother-of-pearl spoons. And before I get a fishpan-like bashing from some of you for this single use item, I DID NOT buy it. But I really wanted to. :)