Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Iberico Tariff

Don't sniff the black hoof of this Mangalista ham.

The Mangalitsa and Iberian breeds have a lot in common, and get used for the same things - among them, great cured products.

Recently, I read that Iberian ham was going to be subject to a 100% tariff. It looks like there is an ongoing dispute over beef production. The WTO ruled in favor of the USA, so to recover its losses due to the EU's actions, many goods (not just jamon iberico) will be subject to the tariff.

I saw also that the USDA will require them to be hoofless. Traditionally, the black hoof informed the customer that the pig was an Iberian Black, which provided some guarantee of the quality of the ham.

The black hoof doesn't guarantee that anymore, because a lot of non-Iberian hogs have black hooves, but some people still want the black hoof. I don't care whether the hoof is black or not. As long as it has superior marbling, flavor and juiciness, I'm happy. I wouldn't eat a Pietrain even if it had a black hoof.

The high tariff on jamon iberico is going to benefit America's Mangalitsa producers.

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