Valencia & JamonPrint this Page
Our mentor Joe Moskowitz took us to Valencia to visit Redondo Iglesias "Maestros del Jamón" to learn all about the Spanish cured hams and put us in the hands of Miguel Redondo Hernandez. Our Porkfest started at the at the Palacio de la "Bellota" (the most amazing jamón that I have ever tasted) or the place better known as "La Cathedral del Jamón." There the infamous owner Enbrique Grau Moliner took us through an palate-blowing tour of Spanish cuisine consisting of marinated olives, endless slices of Jamón Bellota and Ibérico, the typical Valencia Paella and a dazzling array of tapas dishes.
The next day Miguel showed us the whole process of jamón-making from the slaughterhouse to the curing rooms. He then demonstrated how to debone an jamón and explained the flavor profiles of different sections of the leg. We learned that the Spaniards are more fond of the part closer to the hoof because of the intensely concentrated flavor as opposed to the section closer to the hip that is fruitier and milder. He was also very kind to give us a set of all the necessary tools and knives for deboning a leg of jamón. The same day Miguel let me choose 10 of the largest legs of Jamón Serrano which would be aged to perfection and subsequently shipped to our store.
Towards the end of our trip Joe took us to the "Mercado Central" where the endless stalls of jamón with every section of the leg priced differently and the artisanal cheese displays were overwhelming. I was mesmerized by the selection of sheep's milk cheeses of different regions, aging and different altitudes of pastures. Our best find was Torta Las Mil Ovejas from Extramadura. The stall owner was kind enough to connect us with Jose Antonio the owner of the dairy which we visited last year and have been successfully importing it since then.