Experience: Cinco Jotas Ibérico Ham & Alión. The Patek of Jamones and the Small Child from Vega Sicilia.

Just like Patek Philippe is at the pinnacle of watchmaking, the same goes for Iberico hams and Cinco Jotas —the five Js. With Joselito ham only a small notch above Cinco Jotas, when it comes to the pinnacle of Iberico hams from Spain, Cinco Jotas is the authority. Faithful to its origins, Cinco Jotas makes one of the finest acorn-fed hams in Spain and the company has maintained the purity of the 'Pata Negra' —black hoof— Iberian pigs they use, flawlessly. Much like Patek Philippe has maintained their DNA intact over the last 179 years. The 'Pata Negra' acorn-fed Cinco Jotas ham is unmistakably identified by its color, texture, overall appearance and it’s a ‘jamón’ that cannot be faked as those that are true connoisseurs will know better. Just as it happens with a Patek Philippe timepiece that cannot be faked.

The peculiar sweetness of the 'Jabugo Pata Negra' ham is a result of the delicate diet that Iberian Black Hoof pigs have in the Jabugo Dehesa forests in Spain. 'Jabugo' is found in the Aracena y Picos de Aroche Natural Park in Spain —declared the Sierra Morena Dehesas Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. This one-of-a-kind village has a unique and privileged micro-climate which is ideal for curing 100% Ibérico ham. Better paired with a robust wine from Spain, Alión from Ribera del Duero is the perfect pairing. If you are familiar with the name Vega Sicilia —the finest winery in Ribera del Duero, Spain— you’ll then know that Alión is the young Sibling of Vega Sicilia’s Único and Tinto Valbuena No. 5.

For more than 130 years, Cinco Jotas has continued to make all of its products in an artisan and natural way, conserving all of the experience and traditions handed down generation to generation. The purity of an Ibérico pig is determined by its genetic origin. 100% Ibérico pigs are only those that descend from a 100% Ibérico mother and father. While most Iberian hams come from mixed race Ibérico pigs, the 'Jabugo' from Cinco Jotas is only possible thanks to the 100% Iberian acorn-fed pigs that happen to only be 5% of the Iberian pig population in Spain.

It is during the acorn-rich montanera season when the animals travel up to 14 kilometers a day to find acorns, their main food which is responsible for the organoleptic qualities of the ham —properties that help reduce bad cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. With the exercise these 100% Ibérico pigs do in the woodlands and their adaptive capacity, the pork fat infiltrates the inside of their muscles to create a texture that offers unbeatable flavor. After salt curing the ham over 24 months, the result is a perfectly balanced Jabugo ham with a sweet and very aromatic finish.

Best paired with any Spanish wine, ideally from Rioja or Ribera del Duero, be prepared to delight your senses in every way and form possible. Once served, the ham should remain on the plate at room temperature for about 10 minutes before eating it to reach its ideal 75ºF temperature. And if you’re second guessing yourself about getting a bone-in jamón —rear leg— or a Paleta —front leg—, don’t make a rookie mistake trying to save a few dollars as the only way to go is with a real rear leg jamón.

A gastronomical experience as unique as the hand finishes on a Patek Philippe watch. If you’ve owned one or many Patek Philippe watches, then you know what we are talking about.

Sticker Price $995 USD. For more info on Cinco Jotas click here.