Ham on Wry
I don’t want to end up one of those cranks who constantly finds fault and starts writing letters to the editor (not emailing, writing—that’s when you know you’ve lost it). I’m more of a stewing and festering, then forgetting type.
But I was a little baffled by Time Out NY’s bit on jamon (by their new staff writer) that I read last night (I’m actually reading rather than skimming now that I temporarily have no internet or TV to entertain me into the wee hours). They get all gushy over the hand-cut serrano ham at Stinky Bkln. I like the place, nice enough people, but they can’t cut jamon to save their lives. This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned their mangling.
I was excited to see the meaty hooved leg around Christmas-time and had to get a pound. I ended up with a pile of chunks and stubs. I’m absolutely no Spanish expert but I have bought bellota in Barcelona and the cuts were invariably long and paper-thin.
I hoped my first Stinky Bkln foray was an aberration and tried again a few months ago. After watching the hip young man slicing off pudgy squares in a painfully slow fashion, I became nerved out and was like, “just give me a quarter pound.” It was unbearable to watch even for a few minutes. I’m trying to imagine shelling out $400 for three hours of this pleasure.
There are a lot of things I stay out of because I just don’t feel fit to judge. Barbecue and wine are two that immediately come to mind. Serve me swill and Dallas BBQ slop and I’ll hardly know better. But I do have a grasp on Spanish ham and there’s something wrong here.