Chris Muir's Day By Day



Monday, August 20, 2007

Best Ham In The World?

From Spain, of course.

Spanish cuisine tickles the palate in a thousand ways: ugly but delicious creatures called goose barnacles; boiled octopus with a dash of olive oil and paprika; thick, mushy sausage made from pig's blood.

Spaniards are nothing if not dedicated eaters.

Now, hard-core foodies are drooling over the prospect of something truly superlative from Spain, at least in price: a salt-cured ham costing about $2,100 per leg, or a cruel $160 per pound. It's a price believed to make it the most expensive ham in the world.

The 2006 Alba Quercus Reserve (as this pricey pork will be known) won't be available until late 2008 and you must buy the whole ham or nothing at all. But that hasn't dissuaded gastronomic Web sites and blogs from buzzing with talk of the farm where it is being produced, likening it to a Mount Olympus of pork.

Its mastermind, Manuel Maldonado, 44, comes from a long line of ham producers in a country that's nuts about the stuff. In bars and restaurants, legs of ham hanging from the wall are as common as TV sets.

But Maldonado is taking the art of the ham to new heights, pampering his pigs with a free-range lifestyle and top-quality diet of acorns before slaughtering them, then curing the meat for two years — twice as long as his competitors.

It's that last step that Maldonado credits with creating a delicacy that justifies the heavenly price.



The best of the world's Serrano ham. Sounds delicious.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Alaskan volcano Pavlof Ready to Erupt.




News here.

Stephen King, Vandal?

Author Stephen King was mistaken for a vandal in a bookstore in Australia.

Apparently King, who has a policy of not signing autographs in public situations, also has a habit of surreptitiously autographing his books when he is in a bookstore, and it nearly got him in trouble in a bookstore Down Under.

*laughs*