Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When is a dog really a pig?

I love the Spanish jamones and wouldn't want to cast any sort of slur on them. However a funny thing happened to me which I feel I must share, hoping it will not do anything to put you off a great national product.
I was invited to someones house recently and when I walked in the door I was hit by the heavy, strong, unmistakable smell of wet dog.I reccognised it immediately from many a winter walk with dogs in my youth, and was about to say "what kind of dog have you got" when I was interrupted, and the moment passed. As time passed I was puzzled by the apparent absence of said dog, and anyway, it was 35 C outside so how did the dog get wet? I assumed there was a large, hairy dog-blanket somewhere which was creating the smell. Fortunately I never got round to asking about the dog because there wasn't one. The cause of the smell was not canine at all, but a large ham in the kitchen on the sideboard, covered loosely with a tea towel. I couldn't believe it. I was convinced the guy had an enormous dripping wolfhound somewhere which had been emitting the (supposedly) unmistakable, pungent smell of damp dog, but no. For a single person, a ham that size would take months to consume, during which time it was perfuming his flat with its own essence. He lived in a permanent bubble of musty, meaty, yeasty, shaggy haminess due to this particularly Iberian kitchen accessory, to which he was apparently oblivious. Suffice to say the flat was small, the ham was big and the weather was warm. By the end of the evening it was making me feel quite unwell. It took me a couple of weeks before I could look a salty pigs' leg in the eye again......if you know what I mean.

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