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News | May 27 2019

Ibérico Pork Gets a Boost in Popularity in Las Vegas

Locals are starting to embrace Ibérico pork dishes, from secreto and pluma to presa, as more restaurants include Spain’s star product on their menus

Ibérico pork dishes. Photo by: Toya Legido / @ICEX

Where is Ibérico pork really taking off these days? Las Vegas, of all places. Even though this is a star product in Spain and very popular in Europe, it’s still not extensively known in the US, as hams have only been legally imported there for the last 12 years or so.

For those with an interest in getting to know this culinary treasure from Spain, there are a growing number of restaurants offering not just acorn-fed Ibérico ham but also a wide variety of charcuterie and extra special cuts of pork like secreto, pluma and presa.

Americans can thank José Andrés for “bringing these pigs to their shores,” according to reviewjournal.com. The super chef worked hard to achieve authorization for their import. He teamed up with Fermin, a producer from Spain, and lobbied the US until finally, in 2007, Fermin was able to start exporting their hams to the US.

Ibérico pork is available at his restaurant The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in a wide range of dishes and formats. It’s been on the menu at Forte Tapas for years, although it hasn’t been especially popular among customers, until now. Today the restaurant also offers sliced acorn-fed Ibérico ham and grilled secreto. Another locale, Pamplona Cocktails, serves pork belly as well as presa and secreto, and there are plans to include pluma and solomillo down the road. It’s still a somewhat exotic product, though it’s gaining in popularity, “… and more often than not, the experience customers leave with is ‘wowed,’ very amazed with the product,” says the chef at the cocktail bar.

Ibérico pork dishes. Photo by: Toya Legido / @ICEX

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