Monday, May 23, 2011

The Market Place - Jamón Ibérico

Ahh... the Market Place.

Remember the scene in Sex and the City 2 where Carrie and Miranda visited the souk (market place) in Abu Dhabi?

Sex and the City 2


It felt so enchanting. A couple of modern classy city ladies wandering through an age old place, bumping into old love in the midst of strangers; the scene was just all too romantic.

marrakech_682x400_948164a
Souk in Morocco, not Abu Dhabi.

Well it's actually filmed in Morroco since they were not allowed to film in UAE.


I love visitng the market place, especially in a new foreign country.

la boqueria market place


In this post, I was visiting the La Boqueria market in Barcelona.

There were so many things to see, to smell, to buy, and to eat.

candies


I was enchanted by the selection of candies here! Glorious display of colorful treats.

colorful candies


It's almost like walking in the candy world of Katy Perry in her California Girls music video.




Not to mention the yummilicious chocolates. mmm....

chocolates


more chocolates


candied chocolates


chocolate roses


Some fungus that had fungus on them.

mushrooms
if only they were truffles.


Different types of eggs.

eggs


Of which I didn't even know what animals they're from.


Crabs.

crabs


Bacons (pork, of course).

bacons


Berries.

beautiful berries
They looked so appetizing!


And did you know, coconuts are such a rare find in Europe? If you do find them, they can be so expensive.

Coming from a tropical country such as Malaysia, we do take the produce for granted, only to find Europens spending what we would consider big bucks on petty coconuts. And not the young coconuts that we loved so much, they only had the thick, hard, and old coconut flesh to savour and choose from.

expensive coconuts


Years ago in Venice, while sitting in a guest house I was staying in then, a young European lady walked into the guest house beaming with joy, in her hand was this old tiny coconut with the thickest skin and she was sharing her happy harvest in the market to her friend, proudly declaring she's spent 5 euro on that sad-looking coconut.

I almost choked on my drink.


Now in every market in Spain, you will come across a very special local produce, so treasured and adored by their people, and so expensive for something so light.

Jamón - dry cured ham.

jamon serrano iberico


There are basically two types of Jamón in Spain; the Ibérico, and the Serrano. With the Jamón ibérico being the more expensive as the meat comes from the Black Iberian Pig, they're much sweeter, and redder in flesh.

They're easily mistaken with Prosciutto, which is Parma ham generally from Italy. Jamón is purely Spanish, widely served in Tapas and Pinchos and are cured longer than the Italian Prosciutto.

jamon


I found the whole legs of Jamón sold in supermarket for 81 euro per leg; and that's the cheaper selection. A good Jamón can go up to 100-200 euro per leg.

This is how they normally shave to make those red delicious thin slices of Jamón.

jamon-iberico
Jamón Ibérico


Because they're cured, so their saltiness and slight sweetness are perfect eaten with slices of melons, fresh from the leg (generally), or plainly just on bread (no butter).

corte-jamon-iberico


If you're ever visiting Spain, buy a leg back for me, will you?

3 comments:

  1. Oh yeah...I love discovering marketplaces too... except when they're crowded (which is rather often :/ ). I get paranoid and look for pickpockets everywhere :s

    Wow those big black eggs are emu eggs? (No I didn't recognise them, I only saw the word "emu" on the sign :P )

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  2. Hi,
    those "fungus with fungus on them" are Lactarius deliciosus, which turn a deep green when handled, so it's not "fungus" on them - they are supposed to look like that :) And they are very delicious too btw, as the Latin name suggests.

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