Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hamming it up in Madrid

I honestly feel like I am going to turn into a pig...literally. Walking down the streets of Madrid, one finds it difficult to escape what seems to be Spain's national food: Ham.

Try it sliced on a plate with a drizzle of olive oil or with a sampling of manchego cheese. Sample it on a French roll rubbed with tomatoes or better yet with slices of tomato.

During my short visit to Madrid, I ate ham virtually every day. Breakfast, lunch, and late afternoon snack; but, never for dinner. I needed to save room for other gastronomic treats.

2 of my favorite spots for ham sampling are Don Jamon and Museo de Jamon (literally translated as Museum of Ham). Don Jamon is a friendly tapas bar located on the Gran Via, steps away from most hotels. There is no menu at this joint, just large back-lit photos on the wall of the various tapas available for tasting. I opt for the sampling of Serrano and Ibérico ham, along with manchego cheese and a bocadillo (French roll sandwich) of ham and tomato. Washed down with a cerveza, nothing else hits the spot after a night of clubbing.

Museo de Jamon definitely lives up to its name: a Museum of Ham. Hundreds of cured hams hang from the ceiling of this neighborhood spot, which has several locations in Madrid. Patrons can belly up to the bar for a snack or order cold cuts and cheeses to go from a deli-style counter. Again, I opt for a bocadillo of Serrano ham and tomato plus a Spanish omelet (Tortilla Española) on the side. Tasty!

Inside Museo del Jamon

Don Jamon
Gran Vía, 60
Madrid, Spain

Museo del Jamon
Multiple Locations (photos from C/ Alcalá, 155)
Madrid, Spain

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