Sunday, November 30, 2008

In search of the best Ham...


I've always loved Ham (Jamon Serrano, Prosciutto, Farmers ham, Turkey Ham etc...) but this year I am more interested in Chinese Ham. My knowledge on Chinese ham is very very limited. I'm ashamed to say that I only know Majestic Ham.... I love Majestic Ham but I'm sure that there are many other chinese hams out there that are good or even better, so this year I'm dead set on finding out which ones, or at least trying them all out...

After doing some research, I have only been able to shortlist 3 popular Chinese Hams: EXCELLENTE, MAJESTIC and ADELINAS. Today, while doing my Christmas shopping in Alabang Town Center, I noticed a kiosk selling Adelinas ham. So I bought a 800 gram piece for ham de boned. Price was about 560 pesos (not bad at all for 800 grams of ham which was mostly meat and hardly any fat).


I sliced the ham in half and put the other half in the freezer. The other half I sliced in thin slices. As I tried the first slice, it reminded me of Majestic Ham, Although Adelinas is not as salty as majestic. It also comes with a very sweet sauce/syrup which I did not try because I don't like my ham to be very sweet.

As far as the texture, it as a bit dry (since the 'ball' of Ham hardly had any fat) but quite tasty. This would go very well with ensaymada or pan de sal for breakfast. I'm wondering though if this could be served also like 'pica pica' like the way Jamon Serrano is served?? And what wine would go well with this??


I'll be going on an excursion to Quiapo next week to buy EXCELLENTE Ham and compare it to Adelinas. I'll keep you posted once I have already tried it.

51 comments:

Noel said...

Wow. Intrepid ham hunter.

For whatever it's worth, one of my Chinese friends told me Excellente is supposed to be the best Chinese ham around.

N

Miguel said...

Thats good to know. I guess I'll have to get me some EXCELLENTE ham...

What wine would that go well with as appetizers??

Noel said...

I actually wouldn't be able to say exactly since I don't know if I've ever had Excellente's ham.

I'd imagine, though, considering Chinese ham is a bit dry and salty, a nice oaked white Rioja would be good.

Let me know if that ham deserves its name. I'm intrigued.

Anonymous said...

hi Miguel
I have been reading your blogs as well as Noel's. I myself love good food and wine. Regarding the best Chinese ham, you have to look for Jinhua ham. Click the link below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinhua_ham

"The aroma and the aroma compounds of Jinhua ham is similar to that of dry-cured Iberian hams but different from light Italian and Parma hams."

Try to check DEC stores and Eng Bee Tin in Chinatown. If you know Mr. Fil Juntareal personally, he can describe to you in full details how to cook this "excellent" ham .
Personally, I don't think the local hams here can satisfy your "gourmand" palate. Generally, they are all sweet.

Best

Nelson Uy
email: tbc888@zpdee.net

Miguel said...

Thansk for the tip Nelson. I'll check out the stores for Jinhua Ham...

If its close to the Iberian hams then I reallyhave to try this. I lived in SPain for many years and Ham was part of my everyday diet there :)

Miguel said...

Nelson - Wowo just by looking at the wikipedia page of Jinhua - I can tell Im going to like his ham.

Its prepared/cured exactly klike the spanish hams...hmm interesting..

Chinkee said...

I only like chinese ham when it's fried... I dunno why. Then I slap it on a warm pandesal smothered with mayo. Yum:-)

Noel said...

Miguel, in relation to Nelson's statement re: "Jinghua ham", to wit:

If you know Mr. Fil Juntareal personally, he can describe to you in full details how to cook this "excellent" ham.

I was with Fil Juntereal this evening at Gene Gonzalez's 50th birthday celebration and Fil promised to e-mail me how to cook the ham Nelson mentioned. Will forward it to you.

He told me, though, he uses a sweet glaze on it.

N

N

Anonymous said...

Fil Juntereal in one of our dinners at cafe ysabel, decribed it as "better than jamón ibérico de bellota".
A good way to serve it probably is "honey glazed Hunan ham in pancakes" if Fil uses sweet glaze.

Hi Noel
I think that dinner was the club's event hosted by Aaron Palileo at Cafe Ysabel. (Rene Barbier dinner on Dec 1)
Gene's 50th birthday celebration is on December 11, Thursday. Are you going to attend this celebration so I can meet you personally and congratulate you for your very interesting blogsite.

Nelson

Noel said...

Gene's 50th birthday celebration is on December 11, Thursday. Are you going to attend this celebration so I can meet you personally and congratulate you for your very interesting blogsite.

Gene is throwing around 3 parties for his 50th as I understand. I went to the one last night. Mostly International Wine & Food Society members were invited to that one (Tuesday, 2nd December).

Of course, Fil was also there, so I asked him about the ham. Will post on it soon in my blog.

I think one of my law partners will be attending the party on the 11th, but not me, so, unfortunately, we will have to meet at another wine event.

N

Anonymous said...

Noel
oh so sorry, my mistake. yes, i just saw jay's recent post on the other site.
Did you read about Jay's latest find i.e. Benriach single malt? I think you will enjoy this as much as the cardenal mendoza which you just had at je suis.

Miguel
any luck finding jinhua ham? i think i have a friend who knows how to get it here. I will know by tomorrow if it is available and let you know the contact details.

Nelson

itxaro said...

When sis, des and i joined that bazaar in La Vista, our neighbouring booth was a family-run Ham seller. I'm not a fan of ham (my love for preserved meats only extend to chorrizos, salamis and salchichones hahahaha), but their ham was probably the brightest spot during that deplorable experience hehehe. It converted me into a ham fan. It had a subtle saltiness mingling with the right amount of sweet delicateness tied to delightful, lightly smoked flavour. I really wish I'd eaten more of it haha.
Trouble is, I forgot the brand na, but maybe sis remembers :)

Miguel said...

Based on what I know maybe its either Majestic, Adelinas or Excelente.

gourmandtales said...

Excellente ham fan here...

Miguel said...

Already tried the EXCELENTE...posted on my blog :)

Scott said...

I'd suggest you give one of the Award Winning Hams from Johnston County Hams a try - they're the best I've found.

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