'jamon iberico' on Serious Eats

U.S.-Bound Spanish Iberico Pata Negra Hams to Lose Black Hooves, Cost Double

Black-hooved Iberico pigs in Spain. Photograph from Shoes on Wires on Flickr About a year ago, Iberico hams, the most gourmet of Spanish piggies, were first sold in the United States. They arrived with black hooves on—a symbol of Spanish hospitality and a guarantee of Iberico authenticity. Now after a USDA ruling effective January 2009, all hams will arrive "pata negra sin pata" (without the telltale black hoof). To make it worse, the ruling added a punitive 100 percent tariff on all bone-in Iberico hams, which will double the price of any delivered after March 2009. So one of these ridiculously expensive (and seriously delicious) $1,400 hams will now set you back $2,800. Talk about starting the year off... More

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