My favorite food writers include the usual suspects: Mark Bittman and Jonathan Gold. But in the same vein which the Surly Gourmand makes me giggle and squirm with his candor, my friend Jorge’s food commentary always has me laughing hysterically while vehemently nodding my head in agreement.
Iberico ham on the walls and on the table ready to be sliced at a shop in Salamanca, Spain
Here is what Jorge has to say about Italian-style prosciutto (which refers to as “cute”) vs. the prized Spanish Iberico ham:
“You have tasted Iberico and you have tasted prosciutto. Why on earth, knowing of the existence of Iberico, would anyone care to admire prosciutto? If Hyundais were the only cars on earth, we as a human race, should all be in awe. A Hyundai is a feat of technology. The problem is, there are also Ferraris.
Prosciutto is made from these pink, flubby, obese pigs. If eating were like sex, then when you eat Iberico, you are having sex with a top model. With prosciutto, you are banging a sumo wrestler.
It really does crack me up when you go to, I don’t know, what’s the name, DeLaurenti
right ? You ask for prosciutto and they take it and slice it paper thin. Then, they lay it on the package like it’s a delicate precious gem and take like 5 minutes to give you a quarter pound. It is such a show.
There’s this bar I love in Madrid, where I go for Iberico. It’s owned by a bullfighter. You go in there and it smells of bull’s ass in the air so thick. I love it. You ask for a plate of Iberico and this guy that looks like the most rugged gypsy to ever walk the face of earth, takes out his ham knife and starts slicing Iberico slices from a leg at such a speed, you know he could do it in his sleep. 20 seconds is all it takes.
In conclusion: Italian meats are nice and cute, but if you want to play with the big boys, you get Spanish cured meats.”
Jorge, look! I am eating Spanish cured meats with the big boys while drinking wine from the Rioja region of Spain
Up next: Maybe I can convince Jorge to do a comparative analysis between roasted pig in America vs. suckling pig from the Burgos region in Spain.
Jorge, even you would approve of the roast suckling pig I consumed at this Salamanca restaurant encased in a cave