Eating Exeter doesn’t often review products, but we were given the opportunity to taste some fantastic meats sent all the way from Barcelona. I know this as it had Barcelona on the stamp.
Iberian Ham is something of a delicacy in Spain, using Iberian Pigs fed primarily on acorns, this gives the meat a distinct taste and coupled with the traditional processes of curing and preparing the meat, you are unlikely to ever taste cured meat like this from anywhere else.
To be precise the meats came from a fantastic online company called Jamonprive who work closely with the meat producers to deliver Iberian Ham and Cured Meats across the EU. In our case, our Iberian Ham and Chorizo came from Ibericos Dehesa Casablanca based in the Extremadura region, so a massive thank you to them and Jamonprive for allowing us to sample this Spanish delicacy.
In Paolo Singer’s travel article in the New York Times, he visits the Extremadura region and says the following:
“…the Extremadura region, is in the heart of Spain’s pig country. I had traveled there in search of the world’s best ham, a recent food obsession instigated by Spanish friends. Along the way, I discovered a variety of mouthwatering specialties, learned about unique traditions and met locals with a contagious passion for their culinary heritage.”
This article only goes to reinforce the heritage of the meats that Jamonprive and their producers sell. It’s a fantastic journey around the Spanish countryside, and definitely worth a read.
Iberian Ham (Jamon Bellota Loncheado) – Opening the packet was like opening the door of a curing barn, or at least how I imagine it to be. A strong lingering smell of the meat coupled with a nuttiness to the aroma from the diet of acorns these pigs are fed makes you realise this isn’t just supermarket deli pancetta.
The meat had the same hue and depth in colour as a good red wine, very little fat and a helpful strip of plastic in between each slice meant that the usual picking and peeling that you can sometimes endure with cheaper cured meats was not the case.
The meat quite literally melted as soon as it entered my mouth, it wasn’t overly oily. It had a taste that lingered with a pleasant aftertaste, the pork seemed to be seasoned with balance and consideration. It wasn’t overly salty as cured meats can be and this in itself would make for a good accompaniment with chicken or other delicate meats. Take for example this tapas recipe from the BBC Good Food website. Blisteringly simple but perfect for putting the meat first with little interference from the tomato and the bread.
Chorizo (Loncheado Iberco Bellota) – It is only until you have tried ‘proper’ Chorizo that you can truly say that you are a fan of Chorizo. Don’t give me that supermarket stuff that is made out of calf anuses and lamb ligaments, this is made of Iberian Ham and a few things along the way such as paprika and seasoning.
This is what Jamonprive have to say about this Chorizo (couldn’t have said it better myself!)
“This acorn-fed iberian chorizo is made from selected lean iberian pork, from pigs feeding on the acorns that grow in our pastures in Rodrigo city. It is seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic and made in the traditional way, resulting in an exquisite handmade product that will not not disappoint the most discerning palates.” (Jamonprive http://www.jamonprive.co.uk/iberico/sliced-acorn-fed-iberian-chorizo-ibericos-dehesa-casablanca-221)
Again like the ham, upon opening the packet I imagine opening a barn door in a Spanish farm, with meat hanging somewhere curing. A delicious smell that lingered in the nose.
The taste was a well balanced mix of seasoning and garlic and it had a slight oily texture too which helps with the preserving of the meat, but the oil was just enough to give it that tapas touch. I felt however that the meat had to shine so we had a look for a few recipes and came across a really nice Gluten Free Pizza recipe from Gluten Free Girl that I have had my eye on. Replace Ham for Chorizo and you’re on to a non-glutinous winner!
So what makes Jamonprive different? Jamonprive uses a sytem called drop-shipping and it is this drop-shipping system and integration with TNT’s API that allows Jamonprive to offer the best products at the best possible price and fast/secure delivery.
For more information head to www.jamonprive.com and have a look for yourself.