Tool and Gadget Envy
I must admit, I’m a sucker for the latest cooking tool, appliance or gadget. A walk through Williams Sonoma, Sur la Table, or Crate and Barrel is like a walk through wonderland. I just know that shiny, beautiful Cappuccino machine would look so cosmopolitan on my countertop. That set of Global knives would tell everyone who steps into my kitchen that I am a professional. That beautiful new ceramic tart dish would make my blueberry tart taste like something you’d serve to the Queen of England.
Recently a whole new item has caught my eye and that is the artisan crafted jamonero, or ham carving stand. The Spanish name is so much more interesting than the English one and jamonero is not hard to pronounce. Say it with me… jamonero. The jamonero is the latest tool I have developed a crush on. It has the warmth and solidity of natural hard wood, the strength of chromed steel, its hand carved acorns provide a touch of artistry and its shape is solid and curvy. What’s not to like?
The jamonero is an essential tool for presenting and slicing bone-in Spanish Hams. Simply place a beautiful, meaty Iberico Ham (commonly known as Pata Negra) or Serrano Ham on a jamonero for slicing and you can expect a round of applause. My favorite jamoneros are hand crafted in the Salamanca, Spain workshop of Don Paulino and his family. These works of art are made from African Sapele wood, Beech or Walnut accented by the shiniest chromed steel you’ve ever seen. And Don Paulino’s works of art include everything from his small portable jamonero (just in case you need to take your bone-in Spanish ham on the road) to his gigantic rotating jamonero table from which knife wielding Spaniards can slice 6 hams at once. My favorite jamonero is called Lisboa. The African Sapele wood gives it the color of autumn leaves and it uses a special rotating clamp that allows me to turn the ham without taking it out of the holder, an ingenious feature that allows me to carve each and every tasty morsel off the ham with ease.
Once this beautiful ham work of art is ensconced comfortably in my dining room, I will have all the tools I need to put on my ham carving show with an Iberico de Bellota ham from Spain as my guest of honor. This time I am sure that my jamonero love will not be an unrequited one. What’s more, it will be a love that I can share with all of my friends as I carve of long thin strips of Iberico ham for them to enjoy.