The Most Expensive Ham in the World

There’s a type of ham that can cost thousands of dollars per leg.

This is the jamón ibérico de bellota, which comes from the black Iberian pig native to Spain and Portugal.

iberian pigs
comakut via Wikimedia Commons

Their meat is rich and nutty due in part to a genetic trait that allows them to store fat in their muscles. Also, they’re free range, which means they get to roam around and eat natural food, especially acorns. Acorns make them taste good.

The pigs are put down around 14 to 18 months when they’re clocking in at about 350 pounds. Then, their hind legs are salted and cured for 2-4 years, with the curing process taking place in a natural cellar with carefully controlled temperatures.

The result is a ham that has a dark red color, a marbled texture and a complex and intense taste. It’s usually sliced thin and served with things like bread, cheese and wine.

Valdavia via Wikimedia Commons

The cost depends on several factors, such as the purity of the breed, the quality of the acorns, the length of the curing process and the reputation of the producer. Currently, the world’s most expensive leg goes for over $13,000.

The only question we have left is: Who are the rich little piggies eating this?

Written by Pete

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