Going home is a trip down memory lane. To the cold cuts and the Spanish meats of my childhood, to the simple meals that are so common of Spanish cuisine. Every time I go home with a friend and I try to explain ourculture, cured Spanish meats are an essential part of the talk, and of the visit. They also make a meal in themselves.
Just slice some fresh bread, toast it, rub some tomato and add some extra virgin olive oil and you have the most delicious meal that doesn’t even need cooking. That used to be Friday night dinner for our family, every week.
There is not a week that goes by in Spain without copious amounts of cured meats being eaten. In a sandwich, as a snack, as a whole meal. We eat cured meats in various shaped and forms, sometimes by themselves.
The rest of the world has finally caught up with jabugo ham and chorizo which I now see as staples in all Spanish restaurants in Singapore and in many dishes elsewhere. But the list of Spanish meats and cold cuts runs the gamut, from cured to cooked, from spiced to aged, don’t stop at those famous duo and try some other of the best cured Spanish meats below.
But the best place to taste these meats is definitely in their country of origin, Spain. If you’re visiting Barcelona, then don’t forget to save my article on a 4 day itinerary to Barcelona, my guide to one day in Barcelona, this travel guide to the nearby beachside town of Sitges, or my complete travel guide to Barcelona.
- How to serve and eat Spanish meats, cured meats and cold cuts
- Iberico jaburgo ham
- Lomo embuchado
- Jamon dulce or jamon York
How to serve and eat Spanish meats, cured meats and cold cuts
The best way to eat all of Spain’s meats and cold cuts is slice on a wooden board, just out of the packets they were bought in, or, for the long thin sausages, whole with a sharp knife for people to cut their piece the way they like them, thin or thick.
The only exception is maybe chorizo, which can be eaten “raw” or cooked with onion and even white wine, and morcilla which is almost always seared for extra flavor. For an extra special and local way to cook and serve chorizo, use a terracotta bowl forfrying just like my grandma used to do.
All the Spanish cured meats and cold cuts should be servedwithcopious amounts of plain toasted farmer’s bread, thin and crunchy toasted Catalan “glass bread” covered and spread with traditional “tomacons”, a kind of tomatoes that can only be found in Catalunya which are sweet and are only found in specialty markets like La Boqueria or in the countryside farm houses (my dad grows them!), and generous drizzles of extra virgin olive oil.
For extra perfection, add some simple bread sticks for the ham which is also happy when savoured on its own without the tomato or the olive oil. To complement the meats, add in some delicious Spanish Manchego cheese, some olives and a bottle of red wine for the perfect casual dinner. If you want to be extra Spanish, make a potato omelette and add it to the table. Perfect, isnt’ it?
Iberico jaburgo ham
The royalty of Spanish cured meats and cold cuts is the ham. But not all hams are made equal. There is parma ham, there is copa ham and, even in Spain, there are different quality grades of the famous Iberico ham.
When I read Spanish Iberico ham on a menu abroad I wonder if it is of the right quality: will it be jamon de jabugo pata negra? And how much will they charge for it if it is? Usually I always pass up on the ham, the premiums charged for it are just silly when I know how much a good jabugo ham costs.
In Spain, you can buy ham of all prices and types, from the more day-to-day Serrano ham to the uber delicious jabugo ham. But it not just the type of pig which determines the quality or price of the ham, the part of the animal it comes from and the way it was cut or by whom hugely impact theprice of a slice. For a 100gr vacuum packet of the jabugoham I often take back home I may pay between 5-10 euro depending on the combination of those elements.
Because the really good ham is hand cut, you will pay more for the perfect slice, because there is a skill and a lot of experience involved in taking a sharp knife and attempting at cutting the perfect, long and wide but very thin, slice of ham.
And because the pig’s legs shape do not allow for that type of cut to be the majority, there are also a lot of other imperfect or smaller cuts that are of the same quality but will be sold for a lower price, simply because they don’t look as nice on a plate, which is how most high quality ham is served, to be eaten on its own, or maybe with a slice of bread.
Lastly, even from the same Iberico pig, the ham from the back or the front legs is not of the same quality or price. The front legs are more cured and drier because they are thinner whereas the back legs are fatter and will tasted differently.Your personal taste will tell you which one you prefer. I am happy with the drier front legs because I prefer the more concentrated and drier flavour whereas a lot of people prefer the softer texture.
But what really makes jabugo ham so special?
This type of ham, called jamon de jabugo pata negra in Spain because of the black colour of the pigs throttles, is priced and valued for the happiness of the pigs. It may sound strange, but it is true. The pigs are on an all-acorn diet, eating what they can forage in the oak forests they roam freely in, in the South and West of Spanin.
Jabugo is the name of atown in the province of Huelva, in Andalucia,where most of the pigs are raised.When you hear the word Iberico ham that refers to the breed of pigs, Iberian, which are the type the ham is made from.
One of the most famously used Spanish sausages and cured meats is chorizo. Chorizo can have several variations in spiciness and type of meat but is generally a mixture of pimenton red pepper (paprika) and ground pork meat. Abroad, I usually see chorizo as being spicy when, in reality, in Spain, it is not as the pimenton or pepper used is of the sweet variety.
The spicy version uses the hot pimenton and is the one that is most commonly found out of Spain. Chorizo is usually thin, two or three inch wide, and varies in length. As opposed to most other cured meats, chorizo is not very compressed so, when sliced, it may break up.
You can eat chorizo as is, in a sandwich, sliced up or cut into 2 inch long pieces and fried. Sometimes, chorizo can accompany fried eggs or can be addedto pulses or beans stews for flavour and fat. It is also a common dish in a tapas menu, served fried usually with white wine and onions.
Perhaps my most favourite cured meat of all, after ham, is fuet sausage. Typical of Catalunya and more particularly of Vic, a town an hour north of Barcelona, fuet is a mixture of finely ground pork meat mixed with lard giving it the marbled white and pinkish colour that is so popular of fuet and longaniza, a similar but larger type of sausage. The meat is usually mixed with herbs like garlic, oregano, pepper and other and then places in a pork encasing and cured.
Fuet is thin, measuring around a couple of inches in width, and about 60-70cm long so it looks like a whip, hence the name, translation in Catalan of whip. Fuets are usually hang behind the kitchen door, as they come with a short string on one end. But once you start cutting slices of it, you won’t be able to stop!
One of the sausages you can easily eat on its own, with wine or cheese, or, if you slice it thinly, you can also eat it with bread with tomato and olive oil, typically Catalan sandwich.
This is the Spanish version of a blood sausage or black pudding. The sausage and the blood are mixed with rice, making it an easier to eat version than that from other countries.
Morcilla can come from various parts of Spain but the most common one is from Burgos, one of the central provinces of Spain. Usually, the sausage is also flavoured with garlic and onion. The sausage is usually served fried, like chorizo, giving it a crisp texture in the outside.
A cured pork lointhat is great for sandwiches. It usually wrapped in pepper and left to cure for a couple of months. the resulting meat is tender, best sliced thinly, and eaten with bread. As opposed to other sausages like chorizo, lomo embuchado can be quite dry so you are best off adding some tomato to the bread or drenching it in aromatic olive oil.
This cured meat can also be of the higher quality if the pig is of the Iberian breed or has been fed acorn like the jaburgo pigs. When compared to the more basic version, lomo embuchado iberico de bellota is a bit fattier, usually has a few white lines of fat and is definitively more flavourful, nuttier and fills your mouth with that taste of the jabugo ham.
A typical Catalan sausage like fuet, but cooked instead of cured. Butifarra is of a light pinkish colour and has the same pieces of white marbling. it is made of lean pork meat, just like fuet, but it is boiled instead of cured giving it a softer touch. Butifarra can be thin of 3-4 inc width or bigger and comes in all lengths.
We usually eat it like the rest, in sandwich or bread, but bacause of its boiled and softer texture, you can also eat it with pickles and it may be paired with small pickled onions, olives or roasted peppers. Eat it on its own as well. Butifarra is not always peppery and is usually sweeter as compared to the other, generally salty cured meats.
This is a very particular and delightful sausage. Made of finely ground pork of the specific pork breed raised in Mallorca, where sobrasada is from, and mixed with red Mallorcan sweet paprikaand some more spices giving it the peculiar orange color, sobrasada is eaten as a spreadable sausage resembling the texture of pate.
It comes in a thick oval shaped sausage as the spread is served inside a pork casing, but usually, it is sliced and spread on bread, sometimes even drizzled with some honey. The skin may then be removed.
Salchichon is similar to fuet only larger and often covered in spices, sometimes black pepper. Salchichon, like fuet, are usually stored hanging in the air as they are cured, and should be stored in the fridge once cut.
The difference between chorizo and salchichon is the fact that chorizo is made with ground meat whereas salchichon is made with minced meat and that chorizo is made with paprika which gives it the red characteristic color.
Chistorra is not very different from chorizo only that it usually comes in longer thinner shape. It is also most commonly fried, sometimes in longer pieces.
Chistorras can come in bundles that are easy to cut into 10cm pieces and when you buy them from the charcuterie, you can ask how many of the bundles you want.
Jamon dulce or jamon York
While this is a very typical cold cut in Spain jamon dulce, York or cocido (cooked) is not something visitors to Spain will usually notice. The Spanish version of cooked ham is always eaten slices and in sandwiches, often times with a slice of cheese too.
So a bikini sandwich, which any visitor to Spain will no doubt come across, is traditionally made with jamon dulce and cheese and it is toasted, although fancy restaurants tend to use cured ham these days.
The ham is called sweet in reference to the cured ham which is much saltier. Cooked ham is healthier than most other cured meats because it has lower salt content and fat as the meat is boiled in water for a while, so it is favored in diets low in sodium and fat and it is often served in hospitals to patients.
I very much love this type of ham as it is an easy protein that goes well with almost everything and makes for great sandwiched with Spanish bread, tomato and olive oil.
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10 types of Spanish meats - from cured to cold cuts? ›
Iberico Lomo is one of the finest forms of Spanish cold cuts, which is made from pork tenderloin that has been dry-cured with paprika for more than two months. “Lomo” is the Spanish word for "loin" which is a large, long muscle joined to the spine.What is a famous Spanish cold cut? ›
Iberico Lomo is one of the finest forms of Spanish cold cuts, which is made from pork tenderloin that has been dry-cured with paprika for more than two months. “Lomo” is the Spanish word for "loin" which is a large, long muscle joined to the spine.What kind of Spanish meats are there? ›
- Jamon Iberico de Bellota. ...
- Morcilla. ...
- Chorizo. ...
- Jamon Serrano. ...
- Considered one of the finest forms of Spanish charcuterie, lomo embuchado — a dry-cured pork tenderloin dusted with pimenton, wrapped, and set to cure for two months or more — is meaty, lean, and intensely flavorful.
Iberico jaburgo ham. The royalty of Spanish cured meats and cold cuts is the ham. But not all hams are made equal. There is parma ham, there is copa ham and, even in Spain, there are different quality grades of the famous Iberico ham.What is a dry-cured Spanish meat called? ›
Jamón (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈmon], pl. jamones) is a kind of dry-cured ham produced in Spain. It is one of the most globally recognized food items of Spanish cuisine.What is a famous Spanish cured pork? ›
Jamón Serrano is a cured country ham made from conventional pork. From time immemorial in the mountains of Spain, people have packed fresh hams in sea salt and hung them from their rafters to cure. A year to eighteen months later the jamones are ready.What is a popular Spanish meat? ›
Cured Spanish ham is the irrefutable king of Spanish cured meats. But not all hams are created equally. The main difference? The breed of pig. Though Spain is home to many different breeds of pigs, we generally refer to two main types of jamón: jamón serrano and jamón ibérico.What are Iberian cold cuts? ›
Iberian cured meats are those made with meat from Iberian pigs (Iberian breed The Iberian pig is a breed of pig originating from the Iberi... ), that is, from the Iberian Peninsula. The most traditional are lomo. Known as the king of sausages, the Lomo -Pork loin is a high..., salchichón and chorizo.What is the Spanish dish little meats? ›
Carnitas — which means "little meats" in Spanish — is a Mexican pork dish. An inexpensive, heavily marbled cut of pork, such as boneless Boston butt, pork shoulder or picnic ham, is braised or simmered for several hours with seasonings and lard until it is so tender that is can be shredded.What is the unhealthiest cold cut? ›
What options are bad/ the unhealthiest? The unhealthiest deli meats out there include bologna, hot dogs, sausages, and bacon. Bologna and hot dogs are typically a combo of meat and cured beef and pork…and some brands will have trimmings and organ pieces.
What is the most expensive cold cut? ›
The most valuable cold cut…
- A slice of history.
- How is Culatello made?
- How is it served?
- 1 – Chorizo. Chorizo is a cured Spanish sausage made from pork, garlic, black pepper and smoked paprika, which gives it a red colour. ...
- 2 – Pancetta. ...
- 3 – Prosciutto. ...
- 4 – Ham off the bone. ...
- 5 – Pepperoni. ...
- 6 – Mortadella. ...
- 7 – Chicken roll. ...
- 8 – Salami.
There are basically two different types of cured hams, jamón serrano or “mountain ham,” and jamón ibérico or “Iberian ham.”What are cured meat types? ›
Examples of these products include cooked ham, sausages, bacon, and bologna. The addition of curing salts containing nitrate, nitrate, sodium chloride, phosphates, extracts, and flavorings inhibits the growth of bacteria.What are the different types of cured Spanish ham? ›
There are three main types of ham in Spain: Serrano, Ibérico and Ibérico de Bellota.What are the top 5 deli meats? ›
Choices abound when it comes to which meat you should pile up on your sandwich, but what are the most popular cold cuts? Turkey, ham, bologna, salami, and corned beef, not to mention all of the many different flavors and variations of these meats.Which cured meats last the longest? ›
Prosciutto: Similar to pancetta, prosciutto can last up to a year if vacuum sealed. Spanish Chorizo: Cured chorizo, wrapped in a tea towel will last for about six months. Bacon: Unrefrigerated, cured bacon will last over a week. Putting it in the fridge will extend to up to six weeks.What is Spanish bacon called? ›
Tocino is bacon in Spanish, typically made from the pork belly and often formed into cubes in Spain.What are the different Spanish pork? ›
- Carrillera (cheeks) The carrillera is the cut of meat taken from the Iberico pig's cheek. ...
- Papada (jowl) ...
- Cabecero (shoulder collar) ...
- Presa (over-shoulder) ...
- Paleta (shoulder) ...
- Lagarto (rib-loin strip) ...
- Pluma (lower loin) ...
- Abanico (rib cover)
Some of the most familiar breeds are Duroc, Pietrain and Landrace. The Cerdo Ibérico has a lineage which reaches back to the time of the cavemen of the Iberian Peninsula. The Ibérico is a strain of pig that varies significantly from pigs found elsewhere. This is a rare breed, found only in Spain.
What meat is cow tongue Spanish? ›
What's lengua meat? "Lengua de vaca" is how we say cow tongue in Spanish. Beef tongue is a very tender, flavorful cut.What meat is Mexico known for? ›
Mexican cuisine is big on meats. Many of its well-loved dishes are loaded with pork, beef, chicken, as well as combinations of the three.What is the most eaten meat in Mexico? ›
Meat is an essential element of contemporary Mexican culture. Its consumption is linked to ancestral elements as well as to agri-food globalization. Currently, the three types of meat most consumed by Mexicans are chicken (35 kg/person/year), pork (20 kg/person/year) and beef (15 kg/person/year).What 3 meats are in a cold cut? ›
Cold Cut Trio is a SUBWAY® tradition. Experience sliced turkey bologna, turkey ham and turkey salami with your choice of fresh vegetables and condiments served on freshly baked bread. Some items may not be available in all markets.What is the cured sausage of Spain? ›
Chorizo de Cantimpalos is a cured variety of sausage made with pork meat that's mixed with salt, pepper, and spices such as garlic and oregano. There are three varieties of this sausage, depending on the thickness; sarta, achorizado and cular. Chorizo de Cantimpalos is dark red and dotted with white particles of fat.What is the best cold cut? ›
- Turkey. ...
- Ham. ...
- Dry salami. ...
- Soppressata. ...
- Mortadella. ...
- Roast beef. We have no beef with roast beef because this hunk of meaty goodness hits the spot. ...
- Capocollo. If you Googled this one, you probably read that it's pork neck (ew). ...
- Prosciutto di Parma. The Beyoncé of deli meats.
Carne asada is the thinly sliced, grilled beef served so often in tacos and burritos.What is buche in Spanish meat? ›
(Buche is the term used for pork stomach; tripa is beef tripe.) The restaurant was a common lunch joint but on the weeknights and weekends, it was never more than a third full. Though the restaurant was often empty, there was never a sense of desolation about the place.What's the worst deli meat for you? ›
Each slice of this cured sausage has 68 calories and 6 grams of fat -- 4 times the amount in roast beef. And salami is highly processed. The World Health Organization has linked processed red meat like this to higher odds of cancer.
Fresh chicken, turkey, beef, pork and fish that have not been modified are considered unprocessed meats.
What is the best lunch meat for high cholesterol? ›
Luncheon meats – Choose low-fat turkey, chicken, turkey ham, turkey pastrami or lean boiled ham. Eggs – Eggs are high in cholesterol, but low in saturated fat.What is the most popular Spanish ham? ›
Which is the best ham in the world? Without a doubt, Spanish "Jamones ibéricos" and the synonymously named "pata negra", "black leg", are the highest class of cured hams in the world.What is the rarest meat? ›
Dubbed the rarest steak in the world, Olive Wagyu is the luscious steak you need to know about. According to Bon Appétit, wagyu (which translates to "Japanese cow") often refers to four Japanese breeds: black, brown, polled, and shorthorn, all of which boast the genetic advantage of extreme marbling.What are Italian cold cuts? ›
- Pancetta & Guanciale.
- Game Meat.
Spam contains six ingredients: a mixture of pork and ham meat, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite, a food preservative added to bacon, hot dogs, cured meats, sausage, and smoked fish. Aside from adding potato starch in the 1990s, Spam's recipe is relatively unchanged.What is the rare ham from Spain? ›
Iberian ham, or Jamón Ibérico, is one of the most expensive meats in the world. A leg of it can cost as much as $4,500. It is made from the rear leg of the black Iberian pig, a rare breed that can be found in the southern and western regions of the Iberian Peninsula, which comprises Spain and Portugal.What is Spanish prosciutto called? ›
Serrano Ham. Serrano ham (or Jamon Serrano) is a Spanish dry-cured ham. It's very similar to Italian prosciutto (and the French jambon de Bayonne).What is a typical Spanish ham? ›
Jamón serrano is the name of the most common type of Spanish ham. In fact, it makes up 93% of all ham production in Spain! You'll see it in supermarkets, on bar menus, and eat it as a snack or on a sandwich. It's simple and tasty, but it's the least special kind of ham.What are examples of cured meat *? ›
Examples of cured meat include raw beef, raw ham, cooked beef, cooked ham, corned beef, and bacon. Curing is a process by which the meat is treated with a small amount of salt (sodium chloride, NaCl, with or without potassium chlo- ride, KCl), with or without nitrate or nitrite salts.What is another name for cured meats? ›
The word Charcuterie literally means Cooked Meats from the French Chair, “meat or flesh” and Cuit “cooked”.
What are Spanish sausages called? ›
Spanish chorizo and sausages, often referred to collectively as embutidos, come in many varieties, thick and thin, plain or smoked, some containing lean meat to be served for tapas, or with more fat to flavor stews and grilled dishes.What is the oldest known cured ham? ›
(The one with his own Twitter account.) In 1902, one of P.D. Gwaltney Jr.'s cured hams was overlooked, and for 20 years, it hung from a rafter in a packing house. By 1924, the pet ham was kept in an iron safe which was opened daily for guests to view, and it was advertised as the world's oldest Smithfield ham.What is the most expensive cured meat? ›
Spanish Iberian ham, the world's most expensive cured meat.What cured meats are not pork? ›
Some popular cured meats that are not pork include bresaola, cured wild game (venison, elk), turkey bacon, duck bacon, duck prosciutto, duck salami, and beef salami. These options each add their own flavor varieties to your plate as alternatives to the popular pork-based selection.What are Mexican deli meats? ›
- Carne Asada.
- Pollo Asado.
- Chori Pollo.
Obviously, it all depends on the type of meat and how you store it. Ones with less moisture, such as pepperoni or salami, tend to last longer than ham or chicken. What is this? When it comes to meat sliced at the deli counter, it usually lasts between 2 to 5 days.What are the saltiest deli meats? ›
Bacon. The saltiest of deli meats, just one bacon rasher can have more than 25 per cent of the maximum daily recommended sodium intake.What cured meat doesn't need refrigeration? ›
Cured meats like summer sausage, pepperoni or turkey pepperoni, and salami are safe to take camping without a fridge.What is the most sensual of all cured meats? ›
George Costanza : Is that pastrami? Vivian : Yes it is. I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted cured meats.Can you eat too much cured meat? ›
Eating too much bacon, sausages, hot dogs, canned meat, or lunch meat—meat that has been processed in some way to preserve or flavor it—is bad for health, according to experts. A number of studies have found links between processed meat and various forms of cancer, as well as heart disease and diabetes.
What do Mexicans call bacon? ›
The most common way to say bacon in Spanish is tocino, but the words tocineta, beicon, and pancetta also translate to bacon.What do Cubans call bacon? ›
Bacon or Beicon or Tocineta
In some Latin American countries like Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, or Panamá, this bacon is called la tocineta.
- Prosciutto, Jamon, Jambon. Jamón de Serón. ...
- Sausage/Salami. Sobrasada de Mallorca. ...
- Prosciutto, Jamon, Jambon. Jamón ibérico de cebo. ...
- Sausage/Salami. Chorizo Riojano. ...
- Prosciutto, Jamon, Jambon. Jabugo. ...
- Sausage/Salami. Fuet. ...
- Prosciutto, Jamon, Jambon. ...
- Prosciutto, Jamon, Jambon.
Jamón Serrano is a cured country ham made from conventional pork. From time immemorial in the mountains of Spain, people have packed fresh hams in sea salt and hung them from their rafters to cure. A year to eighteen months later the jamones are ready.What are Spanish olives called? ›
Manzanilla. Medium-sized with a good flesh-to-pit ratio, manzanilla olives represent what most people think of as Spanish olives — so much so that another name for them is Spanish olive.What is the famous Spanish pork? ›
The origin of the Iberico pig goes back millennia, even to the time of the cavemen who decorated the caves of Spain with their art. These are the original swine of Spain, tamed over the centuries.What is the most famous sandwich in Spain? ›
The bocadillo or bocata, in Spain, is a sandwich made with Spanish bread, usually a baguette or similar type of bread, cut lengthwise. Traditionally seen as a humble food, its low cost has allowed it to evolve over time into an iconic piece of cuisine. In Spain, they are often eaten in cafes and tapas bars.What are the most popular deli cuts? ›
Choices abound when it comes to which meat you should pile up on your sandwich, but what are the most popular cold cuts? Turkey, ham, bologna, salami, and corned beef, not to mention all of the many different flavors and variations of these meats.What is the world famous Spanish ham? ›
Which is the best ham in the world? Without a doubt, Spanish "Jamones ibéricos" and the synonymously named "pata negra", "black leg", are the highest class of cured hams in the world.What is the unhealthiest deli meat? ›
Each slice of this cured sausage has 68 calories and 6 grams of fat -- 4 times the amount in roast beef. And salami is highly processed. The World Health Organization has linked processed red meat like this to higher odds of cancer.
What are the different types of deli meat? ›
The most popular types of deli meat are ham, turkey, and salami. However, there are many other types of deli meat available, such as bologna and pepperoni, amongst others. Ham: A staple in ham sandwiches, the classic deli ham is thinly sliced so that it will fit easily on the bread.What deli meat is the healthiest? ›
Choose the leanest cut of deli meat possible such as turkey, chicken breast, lean ham or roast beef. These type of deli meat have the highest nutritional value compared to others.What is the prized Spanish ham? ›
Spain's jamón Ibérico is one of the most coveted hams in the world. Produced from Iberian black pigs (pata negra) that have a specific diet consisting of bellota (acorns), the ham retails for roughly $1,000 per leg.What are the most expensive cured meats? ›
Spanish Iberian ham, the world's most expensive cured meat.