One of our intrepid features editors, Stephanie Allmon, just came bounding into the Star-Telegram online offices straight from Central Market, clutching .05 pounds of $180.00 per pound ham.
Yes, you read that correctly. You would need to buy $45 worth of this stuff just to make a ham-and-cheese sandwich. Don't even get me started on how much money you'd need to make ham and eggs tomorrow morning.
(For the record: Stephanie’s haul of a half-dozen exceedingly tiny and thin cut slices cost $9.)
Here’s a picture of Stephanie and I waging war over a sliver – at prices this high, you gotta fight for your right to eat:
The ham, which hails from Spain, is called Jamon Iberico de Bellota, which is a fancy way of saying ham that’s been made from acorn-fed pigs – and this is the first time it’s available in the United States. (Long story short: It took awhile for the U.S.D.A. to sign off on slaughterhouses where the ham is manufactured for export.)
According to the Boston Globe, the pigs are played Mozart music as they head off to piggie heaven. Which, come to think of it, is probably better than playing I Touch Myself as sung by Miss Piggy to Johnny Cash. (see below)
So, the $180.00 question: How does the overpriced ham taste?
Our fearless online leader Cody, however, had a much more pithy response: “Is that stuff cooked?” he asked, and then twisted his face into a mask of revulsion that made the rest of us in the room reach for a trash pail into which he might wretch.
We would say get it while it lasts, but at $180, we can’t imagine there will be a run el puerco.
Bonus snob factor: According to Jeff Mendenhall at Central Market, the Fort Worth location is one of only a handful of locations in the entire United States where you’ll be able to buy Jamon Iberico de Bellota. Impress your friends! Empty your bank account!
And now a word from our favorite pig.... -- Christopher Kelly