Iberico de Bellota Shoulder (Paleta) from Spain

Iberico de Bellota Shoulder (Paleta) from Spain

If you've ever watched the Anthony Bourdain special titled "Decoding Ferran Adria," you remember that at the beginning of the episode, before even even enters Adria's lab in Barcelona, Bourdain makes a stop at a ham shop in town. There, he has Jamon Iberico, the world's most prized ham. This particular cut takes it a step further, using only blackfooted pigs that dine on acorns and roam freely. The ham is expertly selected and cured and the prized shoulder pieces are thinly sliced for consumption. I recently found a store locally that had some and I picked some up at lunch. If you aren't as lucky, definitely order from La Tienda, who are probably the premier Spanish import company. For the incredible background story (years of working with both governments to clear regulations), spend a few minutes on Google.