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Ingredient Wed Jan 16 2008

Fancy Ham

Sometimes I’m not as good a foodie as I pretend to be. (My blog posting stats would bear that out, if nothing else.) Until last week, I had never been to Avec – though it’s safe to say that after that meal, I’ll be looking for a way back as soon as humanly possible. Especially since the menu featured an Iberian ham special for which there are almost no words. In a special reporting segment for today's Trib, however, food author and Spanish resident Janet Mendel offers up many many words to reach the same eventual conclusion. This ham rocks.

Here's the Cliff-Notes version: Iberian ham comes from black acorn-fed pigs from a specific Spanish hog bloodline, and is similar in appearance and texture to proscuitto. Our Avec waitress described it as being served with olive oil, which seemed reasonable in an abstract way until the plate arrived with naked shavings of ham, glistening in a bit of olive oil. So...that was pretty accurate, really. For $25, a simple plate of ham slices might seem a let-down – until of course you start eating it. It’s like pig candy. Pork crack. Words fail to do justice to its richness, its buttery-chewiness and salty tang. Only recently made available in the US, and whole legs (so ubiquitous in the decorating scheme of your favorite local tapas bar) won’t be up for purchase until sometime this summer, and will set you back quite a bit further than the comparatively thrifty shavings at Avec. Even at $1,000 a shank, it may very well be worth it.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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