My search for the best ham has started. After my first post, I got several sms/emails from friends telling me what they think is the 'best'...so based on their recommendations, I started making my own list. Many said that EXCELENTE HAM was the best. So after I little research, I found out where the store was and went there.
The store is located in Palanca st, Quiapo. Its quite a big place. One one side they sell the ham in slices, bits, sausages, etc...on the main part of the store is where they have the whole ham ball and the whole ham with bone. Prices seem reasonable - a whole leg of ham can cost between 3k to 4k Pesos depending on the weight.
The ham is all laid out in the table, each with its own piece of paper indicating weight and price in Pesos. I chose a ham which was around 900 pesos (approximately 1.5 kg.) Once you pay they take it, put it in a plastic, then in a red box. The ham comes with a black thick syrup/sauce.
I got home and I proceeded to unwrap the ham and slice it in half. It was very tender and very easy to cut. I noticed right away that the color was much lighter than the Adelinas ham. It was a very pale pink color, but very tender and moist. This may be due to the fact that all the ham in the store is made fresh daily so that means that the piece I bought must have been newly cooked, therefore very tender and juicy.
Taste wise, a bit more subtle than the Adelinas and saltier, but with a little hint of sweetness and a touch of that smoky flavor. It was very good although I tend to prefer ham that is a bit dry. Since the piece I got was newly cooked, I should give this a day or two to settle in and try again.
They also had another type of ham that was hanging in the store. It came form China although I failed to ask them what kind of ham that was. Maybe in my next trip to the store I'll find out what kind of ham it was.
If you are looking for great ham, EXCELENTE is the place to go. They only have one store so you will have to do an extra effort to get there but its definitely worth the trip.