Totally non-techie post today for food geeks: it seems that La Bottega in Ottawa received a single Spanish jamón ibérico last Friday. I missed my chance to buy a few slices, reading about it only after the fact on Ron Eade's (the Citizen's food editor) blog, which I was only recently made aware of. Damn.
It is easy to underestimate the significance of this news item, but thankfully, in his video post, Eade reminds us that this is quite notable, as it is the first time jamón ibérico (made from pasture-fed black pigs of certified race) is available in Ottawa. In fact, until 2005, it was illegal to export it to North America, and since the ham must cure for three years before being ready to sell, it's only now starting to appear on our shores, and is a tad expensive (La Bottega was moving it at 200$ per kilogram).
[sure, I paid 30$ CAD for the plate above last month but look at that marbling!]
Ottawa food enthusiasts have no doubt noticed that much cheaper (but still delicious) jamón serrano has been available in local food shops for a while now, which is made from white pigs with less restrictions on feeding.