Saturday, 19 March 2011

130. Jambon de Bayonne

18th March 2011. It's taken me 130 posts to get around to this..! Shame on me. Question of the Day.. What is Bayonne justifiably famous for..? (apart from the bayonet) Yes - Jambon de Bayonne or Bayonne ham!
As you know by now, where there's a food speciality in France, there's a Confrérie and, this being the Pays Basque, that means a song!
This next clip looks like it was filmed at the annual Foire du Jambon de Bayonne. In my view, while I do eat it, I always find it a bit too thick for me as it is normally sliced by hand in the manner shown at 1:07:
In Italy, the prosciutto is sliced paper-thin on a machine such that it melts in the mouth. If only I could find someone to slice jambon de Bayonne wafer thin for me.

Jambon de Bayonne
There's an interesting programme here about the hams from France, Italy and Spain. Apparently pigs reared as far north as Poitiers can be used to make jambon de Bayonne. There's a brand "Aoste" which many people assume to be prosciutto from Italy but is actually made in France.

I encountered Prosciutto San Daniele in northern Italy and they eat it thinly sliced there.. as seen at 3:09 in this clip:
I'm reminded of the time I was in a Waitrose supermarket in England and standing at the delicatessen counter for something I noticed a large San Daniele ham hanging up on the wall with some other hams and salamis. I asked the girl if I could have 300gms of San Daniele ham and she looked at me with eyebrows raised.

"We don't have any of that sir," she said.

I said, "How about some from the ham hanging up behind you?"

She replied, "That's just a hollow plastic model for decoration.."


And while I remember, I was once at the meat counter in a Morrisons supermarket buying a leg of lamb and I asked the girl where it came from..

She replied, "The fridge.."
Corsicans have a reputation in France for being somnolent, not too active and overfond of their siesta. The great French comic Fernandel, blessed with an instantly recognisable and naturally funny horse-like face, made fun of them in his song "Le Tango Corse".. (he describes it as "la sieste organisée..")

19th March 2011. Went up the river against a very strong current this morning in a coxed quad sculler of nenettes! We did a very enjoyable 12km (Running total: 500km). I've said it before but it's always a pleasure to row with the fairer sex as they're never slow in getting their oar in!

The rugby.. ah yes.. I did say in an earlier post that the Ireland v England 6 Nations rugby match had the potential to be a

and was it ever..! Ireland comprehensively outplayed Martin Johnson's emerging England team 24-8. England still finished top of the table and it will be a valuable lesson for them. Hopefully!
Scotland beat Italy 21-8 and France restored some pride with a 28-9 victory over Wales. It was odd watching the France-Wales match.. who did I want to win? Well played Ireland!

Now I'm off to watch a compilation DVD of "Go Compare" adverts.. (Is it me or do they drive everyone else barking mad?)


Lesley said...

Thanks for the Bayonne Ham info. I watched a lot of the clips with interest but frankly could not see the vaste difference between the hand rubbed and left as opposed to the machine and factory stored ham. The quality must come from the animal and it's rearing and treatment at the abbatoir end of it's life. The little flying porker (of your previous post) should make excellent ham!

Pipérade said...

I think you'd have to taste one against the other for a true comparison. I think the differences come from how the pigs are reared, how they're fed, then the differences in the process of salting and drying. For example, the 200kg+ pigs at the gite where we stayed at the beginning were fed on corn versus the powdered feed product seen in one of the clips. The difference in taste (and perhaps quality) would stem from the sum total of all those differences. I like the idea of the ham being a part of a local tradition - rather than an industrial product with little or no human intervention.
Keep the comments coming!