jamon it (wikki-wikki-wikki-wikki)

Have you spotted the trend in Madrid?  Art then food, then art and food – and it’s starting to add up. For a country teetering on the precipice of insolvency, Spain is a bit more expensive than anticipated.  Which made stumbling into Museo del Jamon – literally “House of Ham,” a mini-chain with a few outposts across the city – a fortuitous bit of lunchtime economy.  I was lured by the enticing front window: hanging by the hoove were hundreds of haunches of jamon Iberico, the cured Iberian ham also known as pata negra, or black leg after the breed of pig prized for its smooth texture and savory taste.  I hadn’t realized it was a restaurant until inside where, hams cascading down from the ceiling like a chandelier of pork, I discovered a lunch counter and delicatessen cheek by jowl. And more importantly, the best bargain in town: the one Euro menu.  Serrano ham on a baguette: one Euro. Ham and cheese croissant: one Euro. Diet Coke: one Euro. A cortado: one Euro.  Atmosphere to spare and cheap enough to hand the counter man a fiver and say, keep the change, señor, made this a lunch worth oinking about.

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