Food, Food Artisans

Ari’s Holiday Gift Suggestions pt. 2


Stay tuned as we post selections from Ari’s list in the coming weeks!


Iberico Bellota Bacon

If you want to taste some truly amazing pork, have a small sliver of anything from Spain that carries the tag Iberico Bellota. The Iberico is an old school black-hoofed hog, harder to raise, but far more flavorful than the now typical standard “white pig” that most other commercial hams around the world are made from. “Bellota” is Spanish for “acorns”—in this
 case it refers to the Iberico hogs
 that spend the last three or
 four months of their lives eating 
autumn acorns as they fall from 
the tree. Only about 10% percent
of Iberico pigs become Bellota.
But the ones that do enter a pretty 
elite porcine world. The oils from
 the acorns add enormous richness 
to the meat and the fat turns into 
something so delicious, so flavorful, and so memorable that the resulting product really is like no other piece of pork.

The piece de resistance of Iberico pork is of course the three-year-old Iberico Bellota ham—the Spanish version of prosciutto I suppose, but that fails to convey how different the flavor of the Iberico is in comparison to the also excellent but very different flavor of its Italian cousin. The Bellota pork is just much earthier, sweeter in a sort of succulent, sensually compelling way.

Of late we’ve begun to get some of the other cuts of Iberico Bellota pork. Of particular note is this Iberico bacon—it’s probably the most expensive bacon you’ll buy by the pound but then Iberico Bellota ham is the costliest ham on our counter. What both the bacon and the ham bring to the table is their terrific, complex, compellingly memorable flavor. If you want a holiday brunch that everyone will remember fry up a few slices of this stuff. Or lay a couple slices of it over a chicken or pork roast. You can clearly make do with any of the other wonderful artisan bacons we’ve got on hand but once in a while, why not treat yourself to something that’s super special?

We’ll continue to post excerpts from Ari’s list over the next few weeks. 
You can download the entire list in the November/December Newsletter!