Forward contracts in Spanish ham

The regulators
have been satisfied and high-quality Spanish ham can now be bought in
the United States.  "Bought" is the operative word, you still have to
wait for the aging:

Saltzman and several hundred other people felt strongly enough about
getting some really good ham to willingly plunk down their money months
or even years before they would actually get to eat it, La Tienda could
demonstrate to the producer that complying with U.S.D.A. rules would
have a financial payoff. The store began selling the chorizo in July;
the hams from bellota-fed pigs have another year or so hanging in
mountain air.

It can hang in your living room.  Why shell out the thousand bucks? 

…food lovers like him understand…And in the end, the elaborate
narrative of the ham (the way it is produced, his advance payment, the
visit to the picturesque town in western Spain where it’s made) is a
thing to be savored almost as much as the meat itself. “I must say,”
Saltzman adds, “I’ve gotten incredible mileage out of the whole ham

And don’t forget the pro-globalization angle to the story:

…the nexus of an ever-shrinking world and gourmet culture’s eternal
quest for authentic, regional products have often had the effect of
saving artisanal food products that might have died out

Here is the full story, and thanks to Don Boudreaux for the pointer.  Buy it here, and yes that is from acorn-fed black pigs…


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