We could have thought of this earlier: The information that a leg of Jamon Iberico de bellota goes for almost a 1’000 USD in wholesale is correct. But that’s only half of the story!
At the Restaurant Show last week, we noticed that many chefs think: I’d love to put Iberico ham on the menu, but there is no way I can justify the price. Once we explained that there are over 6 different options and the 1’000 USD leg is just the highest priced version, chefs became excited.
Like with all other meats, it depends on the cut and the format! In wholesale the price can range from 30-90USD per lb, depending on format and part. (Maybe this is something, we should have stressed much more from the beginning in our communication. But when you introduce one of the 4 culinary world treasures in your market, everybody is interested in the most high-end version of it)
Therefore, here is a very simple overview and ranking of price, starting with the most expensive:
Iberico Ham exclusively acorn-finished:
– Jamon Iberico de bellota BONELESS (Back Leg) – average 8lbs
– Paleta Iberico de bellota BONELESS (Front Leg) – average 6lbs
– Jamon Iberico de bellota BONE-IN (Back Leg) – average 17lbs
– Paleta Iberico de bellota BONE-IN (FRONT Leg) – average 13lbs
Iberico Ham NOT exclusively acorn-finished:
– Jamon Iberico BONELESS (Back Leg) – average 8lbs
– Jamon Iberico BONE-IN (Back Leg) – average 17lbs
Formats from right to left: Paleta bone-in (front leg), Jamon boneless (back leg), Paleta boneless, Jamon bone-in
You may wonder about the difference between front and back leg. It’s very simple: the back leg is bigger in volume and cures a bit longer, has a more even distribution of moist and flavor, more muscle meat and finally is less complicated to carve (if you choose a bone-in leg).
Another question that came up frequently at the show was: So, you use only the legs for ham curing? What happens with the other parts?
The Iberico loin is used for dry-cured pork loin, which is known as LOMO in Spain. You may know it from the regular pink pig. All other parts, are used in chorizo! Can you imagine the flavor and taste of a Iberico de bellota chorizo??? You may never want to go back to a regular chorizo. But for very high standards in testing by the FDA and USDA, our producer FERMIN is still testing these chorizo products for lysterine levels before we start the import. Nobody wants to challenge the approval of Jamon, when there is an issue with the chorizo.
Finally, for the FAQ on the difference between Jamon Iberico de bellota and Jamon Iberico, please find this detailed PDF overview by following this link.
Videos of the “making of” Iberico ham and much more, find here: www.yesweham.com
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