Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Museum of Ham

Museum of Ham / Museo del Jamón
02/24/12 – Carrera de San Jer
ónimo, 6

Bakery / Museo del Pan Gallego (Pl. de Herradores, 9)
On my quixotic journey to every museum in Madrid, I’ve come across a breed I’ll call the faux museum.  Rather than displaying fine paintings or jeweled snuffboxes, these establishments provide the necessities of earthly life.  For example, on a tiny plaza not far from Calle Arenal sits the Museum of Galician Bread.

Close to the touristy heart of the city hangs a sign for the Museum of Wine, though the entrance to this restaurant, if it exists, can only be accessed through a midnight incantation.

Calle de la Cruz, 14

According to the website, the art deco Museum Chicote (Calle Gran Vía, 12) has been serving cocktails to movie stars since 1931: Ava Gardner, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra... all drank here.

Cocktail bar Museo Chicote--seen better days?

And then there is The Factory Beer Museum. If I read the web site correctly, the Beer Museum offers a literary prize of 2000 euros... for the best "beer fiction."

Calle Genova, 21
Here is another specimen of interest, the Museum of Tarot, an occult store just off Sol.

Calle San Alberto, 1

Finally, as seen in various locations around Madrid, the Museum of Ham

Carrera de San Jeronimo, 6

As if arranged by Busby Berkeley
The most expensive ham, jamón ibérico de bellota, comes from a free-range black pig that dines on nothing but acorns and herbs as it sashays through forests of oak.  After slaughter, the meat is cured for three years, sometimes four. On this trip to the Museum of Ham, our visitor from Wisconsin wants nothing but the finest: 9 euros ($12) for 100 grams--enough to line two rolls.  The Museum of Ham is both deli and diner, with a bread counter for good measure.  

A range of prices and types. Top r: 90 euros/kilo

100 grams of the best.

We’ve never tasted acorns, but now we think we know their essence, as filtered through a trotter from southern Spain, who rooted in the shade of mighty trees. 

Ham in the afternoon, Plaza de Isabel II


  1. Hey great post - many of these were on my list for my last visit (New Year) but only made the Thyssen and lots of shopping, maybe next time.

  2. Thanks Rob...I just added another (Museum of Tarot)!

  3. Erik and Elisa would love the Museum of Ham! I'll have to bring some back for them after my visit.

  4. Maybe you now have enough facts/content/knowledge to write a book? It would be a great guide to Madrid.