There’s a reason for the high price tag.
If you’re really into ham—like really, really into it—you may want to head to your local Costco: The superstore is reportedly selling a rare variety of Spanish ham for $549.99.
Yes, that price is staggering. But a similar cut of meat sells for about $1,000, so it’s actually a crazy good deal.
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Costco also apparently sells a more common variety for $99.
So what makes this ham so great?
Turns out, a lot. Settle in for a little lesson about Spanish pork:
Jamón Ibérico is obtained from the hind legs of black Iberian pigs. Jamón Ibérico de Cebo (the $99 one) comes from pigs that were raised on a diet of feed. Jamón Ibérico de Bellota (the one Costco is selling for $549), however, comes from pigs that were raised in the mountains and were only fed acorns. Apparently, the “exercise they do in the pastureland, the diet based on acorns, and their unique ability to infiltrate fat into the muscle” results in an “oily jamón with many aromas.”
In other words, this is a damn good ham.
It’s unclear which locations are selling the Jamón de Bellota or for how long, so call your local Costco before you commit to serving the fanciest Christmas dinner of all time.