I go to the food fridge.

There is not a lot of food in the food fridge, as I have not been to the market for a while. Onions, potatoes, some condiments, a huge tub of Spanish anchovies, chorizos, cheese, tomatoes, ham.

I take some ham, guiltily, and slip it into my mouth. Its salty taste explodes around my lips, teeth and tongue; I savour the taste lustfully for many moments before swallowing in pleasure.

“Mmm!!!” I murmur, to the onions and potatoes. Then I have another bit.

I have always worked on the basis that you know you’re abroad if the ham’s shit. But visiting Spain has turned my whole world upside-down, from a ham point of view.

The taste of the second slice brings no diminishing returns, so I have a third. As far as I am concerned, Spanish Jamón is the new heroin. God knows how I am going to get off it. They should offer you a luncheon meat substitute on the NHS.

The food was one of the main things that I was looking forward to on visiting Madrid. I had very much enjoyed the Spanish cooking show on Channel 4 last year, which was presented by Thomasina Miers, the peckish man’s Kirstie Allsopp. But I had never considered Spanish ham before. It is so good, you could almost call it a waste of Branston Pickle.

A fifth bit. There is a doubt nagging away at me – that perhaps the LTLP’s idea to buy lots so that we can invite people round and hold a cultured ‘Spanish Evening’ might only half work. There is certainly – um – a lot less in the bag than there was when we landed back at Luton. She will understand.

I donated two pairs of pants to the Madridians: a black pair that had become grey, and a red pair that were still red but had some holes. In return, I took ham. If that’s not a cultural exchange then I don’t know what is.

I take a sixth bit. There is still enough left over for some hors d’oeuvres, perhaps if they were bulked out by some Pringles. I will never criticise another country’s ham again. I am ignorant.

I take a seventh bit.

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27 thoughts on “I battle a dehabilitating and relentlessly-escalating ham addiction.

  1. Lola says:

    I thought you were battling the addiction – not much sign of any battling going on there, more like soppy surrender with kisses. But you’re right, Spanish ham is damn good.

  2. Keefieboy says:

    Glad you like our jamón: wish I’d known you were coming – could have arranged a few things for you!

  3. mojobanana says:

    Mmmmm… spanish jamon… So.. jealous..

  4. Almost a waste of Branston Pickle? But not of Piccalilli, eh Jonny? Yes, that’s right – we saw you. We saw you dip every slice of LTLP’s superlative Spanish ham in that flourescent yellow curried vomit before eating it.

    Every. Slice.

    You sicken me…

  5. lucy says:

    spanish jamón is pants, portuguese presunto is where it’s at,
    obviously, silly.

  6. tillylil says:

    You’ve eaten all the ham – I forsee big trouble for you Jonny.
    You might be out on ‘your underpants’!

  7. I wonder if the Madridians are this very minute, partaking of several slices of English pants?

  8. I think that should read “debilitating” Jonny…….

  9. Pat says:

    ‘Food fridge ‘ as opposed to…?
    You were very bad and reminded me of myself with chocolate biscuits during the war. God the retribution! You’d better look out.
    BTW dear – tomatoes and eggs should not be put in the fridge and pots and onions are just daft.
    You may like to try Parma ham with mango – deelishous.

  10. admin says:

    The beer and wine fridge, of course. Silly.

    GoG: – um, well I suppose I could use ‘debilitating’ instead, but its less strong as a word? Does anybody else have an opinion? Which is better?

    Ham finished. On return from Village Pub.

  11. spazmo says:

    I read an article about Spain once, and apparently the “bulls” (gentleman cows) over there are all infected with rabies or road rage or something. It’s a terrifying phenomenon that manifests every year. Glad you got out in one piece, Jonny.

    Also, if you’d unplugged your “food fridge” before going abroad, you could’ve come home and enjoyed your ham the Seussian way – with green eggs.

  12. lksn says:

    I went through a period of being addicted to serrano ham myself. Its’ salty goodness was too much for me to resist.

  13. Villagepig says:

    wb ham fiend. I am off to Portugal in a couple of weeks, perhaps I will sample the luncheon meat and report back?


  14. Pat says:

    Dehabilitating i quite like.
    Hang on! Did you just call me silly?

  15. Maddie Grigg says:

    You old ham, you.
    Sounded like there was still life in the old pants yet.

  16. Having spent 10 glorious months living in Barcelona, I have to say I dream about jamon atleast twice a week.

    I’ve searched the streets of London Town for a reasonable Tapas substitute but nothing comes close.

    I also struggle with the concept of not been able to eat gorgeous 3 course menu del dia meals for less than €10

  17. Well Jonny, it may sound impressive but I can’t find “dehabilitating” in the dictionary. So in my book, debilitating is better. Cos it’s right.

  18. admin says:

    I shall go with yours, then, GoG.

    I understood that ‘dehabilitating’ was more of a formal medical thing (a definition here, through the well-repected herniaonline.com http://www.herniaonline.com/glossary/index.html#dehabilitating) – – – but as we now already share fifth place in the Google rankings for the word, I think it’s a fair conclusion that it’s not in common parlance. Or that loads of other people just get it wrong.

    So I would edit accordingly. But to get fifth in the google rankings for a word… do I really want to let this go…?

  19. Richard says:

    I did a little survey of my fridge and freezer the other day; apparently I exist almost exclusively on things made from pig which would seem to be a dangerous state of affairs.

    You were allowed to bring your ham back through customs? I have had to bribe customs officials with salami before – how did you do it?

    Have you tried Branston Beetroot?

  20. Megan says:

    I can, with careful searching, stock my fridge with prosciutto. Once or twice a year I might, with luck, find proper bacon that isn’t a) floppy and grey and b) lovingly coated in preservatives and ‘smoke’ to make up for the lack of taste. It is even, very rarely, possible to find properly aged beef. However I am quite sure that even my most jealously guarded sources will not stock jamón. Rather than bite my lip with envy though I intend to sit here and pass judgment on you for wolfing down fine ham at such an horrific rate.

  21. a says:

    Jamon is the new smack,as you say. Fried ’til crispy to go with scallops,too. The hams hanging in the bars are no longer marinaded in cigarette smoke,I guess. Enjoy Madrid? Hope you didn’t miss the Prado. And Guernica…….

  22. Oli says:

    I didn’t think much of the ham further south in Spain,on the other hand the spaghetti was amazing.

  23. LOL at herniaonline.com

    Perchance it is, then, a medical term which is why I couldn’t find it in the dictionary. However, I suspect that the truth is that the well-respected herniaonline.com definition should actually say “debilitating” and they got it wrong too. In fact the 16th century Latin root is “debilitat”, weakened.

    It is, of course, your call sir.

  24. Megan says:

    G.O.G. – you can’t pull out 16th C Latin as an argument! That’s the doggiest of dog Latin ever. Cicero would scorn you, my friend, SCORN. Debilitatio (a laming, maiming, weakness – per Lewis & Short), used in reference to mutilation of the ears: App. M. 2, p. 128, 15

  25. Istvanski says:

    I’m addicted to Hungarian salami. It’s like the crack of pork products.

  26. admin says:

    Hullo Istvanski and welcome!!! I have never tried it. Knowingly.

  27. Istvanski says:

    Just say no…

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