Spending time away from your country to explore different parts of the world and dive into their cultures can be a truly enriching experience. But, depending on the place you choose and what they call “food” there, it can also be a quite gastronomic challenge.
Among the countries with a less-than-stellar culinary reputation are those of anglo-saxon origin, like the UK and the United States, often accused of turning their typical cuisine into a mishmash of the greasiest things you can find anywhere on the planet. It’s in these places that you might end up in a situation like the one this Spanish woman shared on TikTok after buying some serrano ham in the United States.
If you’re living outside of Spain, what you miss the most is indulging in some delicious serrano ham
If there’s a food that stands as an unbeatable ambassador of Spanish gastronomy, that’s serrano ham for sure. When you live far away from Spain, in places as diverse as the United States, Canada, Russia, or Japan, longing for home-cooked meals and typical products becomes a constant companion.
You can even notice it in the olive oil you find at the supermarket. So, it’s no wonder that the absence of serrano ham is felt deeply, as it’s a staple in most care packages parents send to their children when they’re spending time abroad.
The American ham that this Spanish woman couldn’t resist trying
The anecdote that brings us to discuss this reality about ham and home-cooked food took place in a Spanish family spending some days in the United States. Marta’s family, that’s the name of the girl who shared her experience on TikTok, which has gathered more than 134,000 followers, bought a package of slices of authentic serrano ham.
“Not Italian prosciutto, we don’t like that. Ham made in Spain” she said in the video. As night fell, she couldn’t resist opening the package while her family slept and treating herself to the delight she had been eagerly awaiting.
The excitement on her face was instant, almost palpable, to the point where her reaction was worthy of sharing: “It’s delicious. It’s like I’m filming one of those videos when I’d come home at 7 in the morning, starving, but better.” To top off this clandestine snacking, Marta decided to complement her feast with some almonds, recreating a small Spanish-style banquet. “Darling, for you, Spain” she declared with a smile and a notable expression of pleasure on her face.
Is it possible to find decent serrano ham in the United States?
Even though we’re not accustomed to seeing servings of serrano ham in American movies, which are more into burgers, pizzas, and hot dogs, the truth is that finding quality serrano ham in the United States isn’t particularly difficult to get or even quite expensive.
If you’re searching for Iberian hams, you might encounter the higher prices typical of these hams, plus the cost of importation and the added exclusivity of such a product in the United States.
However, Americans have their own production of serrano ham. In fact, a portion of the ham we consume in Spain, especially the 50% Iberian variety, completes the non-Iberian part with a crossbreed of Duroc pig, a breed raised for serrano ham in the United States.