Jamón is to the Spanish what prosciutto is to Italians. Spaniards take their jamón seriously and believe it's time this cured pork delicacy had its place in the spotlight. Thus, the makers of the world's most famous jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) have partnered with acclaimed Spanish chef Ferran Adriá to launch the world's first 'Hamcyclopedia' (a name we happily devised at FDL HQ).
Officially called JoselitoLAB, this online encyclopedia for all things ham offers tips for buying, slicing, dicing, cooking and serving Joselito Iberian Ham, which holds the prestige of being voted the world's best ham. Joselito produces a melt-in-your-mouth jamón iberíco from a special herd of free-range Iberian pigs. The ham is slow-aged for three years and has a complex flavor with surprising sweetness.
Traditionally eaten raw, Adrià took jamón ibérico to new heights two decades ago when he began making mashed potatoes with this aromatic ham at his restaurant elBulli. "When I started working in the kitchen of elBulli, in the eighties, no one dared to use ham on a plate. Nothing had been done to conceptualize the world of Iberian cuisine," he told Gastroeconomy in an interview.
Wanting to bring the joys of jamón ibérico to foodies around the world, Joselito Ham sought the collaboration of Adrià and his team at elBulli. Together they've come up with a delectable array of recipes and information to help you use jamón in your kitchen.
Joselito LAB, which is available in English and Spanish, offers tips on basic cooking techniques like dicing and julienne. It supplies ample information on the basic parts of the ham, how to slice it, store it and cook with it. It even delves into topics like ''what are the white spots that appear on the ham?'' and how to cook with ham bones.
The gourmet recipes include things like air baguettes topped with jamón ibérico - a dish now served at Adria's 41 Degrees restaurant in Barcelona, melon soup with ham, consomme made with ham bones and a recipe for ham oil which is made from rendered fat. So far, there's a collection of 40 recipes with a new one to be posted each week.
Here's a preview:
Adrià is currently working on launching his BulliPedia project, a massive online culinary encyclopedia, slated to debut in 2016.