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The best ham in the world - now in TO


Restaurants & Bars 13

The best ham in the world - now in TO

estufarian | May 2, 2006 08:32 AM

OK, so this is obviously a matter of opinion. But on a trip to Spain a few years back I was bowled over by Jamon Iberico, a ham produced from a rare breed of pig. Upon returning, I tried to find it in Toronto, but our Government protectors (who also protect us from imported butter that wins awards around the globe – and is allowed in US) deemed all Spanish ham to be a health hazard, so didn’t allow it. Since then, Serrano Ham (previously also banned) has now been allowed into Canada, and at the end of last year, finally, the ban was lifted on Jamon Iberico – although the importer I contacted still hasn’t seen any (for long reasons that aren’t significant).
But, last night, there on a menu was ‘Pata Negra Prosciutto’ – at a price double any of the other items ($25 for an appetizer size). What a strange description! Prosciutto is Italian – but the Pata Negra pig is the only animal from which Iberico ham is permitted. A couple of questions revealed that, indeed, this is the real thing. Carved from the whole ham in front of you (not as thinly as in Spain, but still authentic) – with the ‘black foot’ still attached to the leg. And yes, it is wonderful – not as good as my memory, but finally available here in T.O.
So if you want to try it, rush to Senhor Antonhio (the wine bar attached to Chiado). And try a glass of their Red Sparkler made from the baga grape to accompany it – or their 10-yr-old Sercial madeira, both of which were excellent matches.

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