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Jamon Iberico, Lardo and Lamb prosciutto

Wine-tasting in Napa could be tricky with a 3-year-old in tow.

They do not have patience for all that waiting, swirling, sniffing, sipping and reading the descriptions. And all those fragile glasses, bottles, elegant souvenirs in the tasting room are very heart attack inducing, for the parents.

After 2 and a half hours of driving, we managed to breeze through 2 wineries while Hayden was snoozing off in the car. Mission accomplished? Not quite. Need to get my sweet tooth fix at Dean & Deluca for the best gelato outside of Rome: Fiorello’s of San Rafael.

With a fabulous zabaglione of unmistakable masala perfume in hand, I started browsing through the deli counter. After much deliberation with my internal piggy, I settled on 3:

Lamb prosciutto from Salumeria Biellese, NY: VERY lamby. Texture reminds me of bresaola, dark red, dry and lean.

Lardo from Salumeria Biellese, NY: Cured pig fatback, a most tender piece of ‘hard fat’ on the center back of a pig. Biellese’s lardo is the best I had outside of Italy. Porky, creamy and smooth. Really bring back a very fond memory at Umbria. The worst lardo I had was from Boccalone Salumeria at the Ferry Building. Tons of sinew, practically a very expensive piece of rubber. A cheat.

Jamon Iberico by Fermin: Ham made from pata negra, an ancient breed of Iberian black pigs. Yes, it’s $89/lb, but quite worth it. Dry, rich and intensely savory, great mouth feel from the extra marbled fat. I have to say prosciutto of either Parma or San Daniele cannot compare.

Jamon Iberico de bellota, of pata negra on acorn diet is $160/lb also behind the deli counter.

$160/lb … I just couldn’t do it …

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