It’s rare to see this cut of pork because it’s from the front leg of the hog, not the back like most of the cured hams. In Italy it's called spallacia. In Spain it's paleta. Seems a shame to not focus on the front because this meat is really smooth, sweet and nutty.
Like with all La Quercia’s products the quality and flavor of the meat starts with the conditions of the pig. Heritage breed Tamworth hogs are pasture raised at Russ Kremer's farm in the Missouri Ozarks. They have access to outdoors, spend lots of time roaming and finish the last few months of their time enjoying a diet that includes lots of acorns, just as the famed Ibérico hogs do in Spain.
The effect of an acorn diet on the ham’s fat is magical. It softens it, lowering its melting point to near body temperature so that when you bite into a piece it practically melts on your tongue. This is an exceptional eating experience. If you’re looking for something special, there isn’t anything quite like it. Very few of these hams are available in the country each year.
The ham is unsmoked. It is aged between 15-24 months, depending on its size. No cooking necessary—the ham is best served as is, sliced as thin as you can, at room temperature.