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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Costco’s $550 Ham

We've got answers to your questions about the premium Jamón Ibérico de Bellota ham at Costco.

Cutting a slice of iberian hamrafa sanchez ruiz/Shutterstock

$550 is actually a major deal

It takes a real ham enthusiast to know that the steep price of $549.99 is really a steal. This meat is so pricey because it comes from a rare breed of pig that’s raised only in Spain. The typical price point for a leg of Jamón Ibérico de Bellota ranges between $900 and $1,300. It’s even pricey on Amazon. Here are some more Costco shopping tips that will save you lots of money.

Iberian pigs grazing in the Extremadura landscape in SpainGelpi/Shutterstock

It’s not just any pig

To be considered Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, the pig must have at least one Iberian parent. Iberian pigs stand out from the average livestock because of the unique way their muscle absorbs fat to create an exquisite taste. For more international Costco facts, learn about Costco’s first store in China!

Detail of branch of kermes oak under the rain, with spiny leaves and a colorful acorn with crimson cupule. Alonso Aguilar/Shutterstock

Iberian pigs are herbivores

The idea that pigs eat only slop is pretty common, but to make Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, the pigs need a special diet. The de Bellota part of the name actually refers to the strict diet of acorns that Iberian pigs are fed. The diet is what makes the meat so rare and delicious! Find out what makes Costco’s $4.99 rotisserie chickens so good, too.

Group of Iberian pig in the meadow in the mountains.Genadi Dochev/Shutterstock

The Iberian pig is found only in Spain

Products made from Iberian pigs are only made in four areas of Spain: Huelva, Cáceres/Badajoz, Salamanca, and Córdoba. Iberian pigs are typically brought up in the high-altitude parts of these areas, as the environment is said to impact the meat’s flavor. Costco is saving us not only money, but also a long flight to Spain! Costco’s ham may be amazing, but it’s important not to act like a “pig” while in line for samples–polite people don’t do these things at Costco!

Iberian ham with a plate of slices of ham.Moises Fernandez Acosta/Shutterstock

There’s a cheaper option, too

If $500 is out of your price range but you’re still craving a taste of high society, don’t worry! Costco also provides a cheaper form of Jamón Ibérico called Jamón Ibérico de Cebo, which should cost you only $99. It’s also known for its great taste, providing luxury without breaking the bank! Next, find out the things you aren’t buying at Costco, but should.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

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