The jamón ibérico de bellota or pernil ibèric de gla in Catalan is a flagship product in Spanish cooking. Just as tasty as foie gras, caviar and truffles it is less well known globally, and this is a great shame!
Bellota Ibérico ham: the caviar of ham
Bellota ham is linked to the breed of pig, their feed and their environment. Even though all Ibérico ham is delicious, the Bellota is by far the best and the tastiest as it comes from Iberian pigs bred on open air pastures and fed exclusively on acorns (bellota in Spanish or gla in Catalan).
For those not in the know, it may be easy to confuse Ibérico ham with Serrano ham, which is a mountain ham that comes from a white breed of pigs. Even though it is very good, the quality is not comparable. It is therefore to be expected that the price is much lower then the Ibérico ham.
Andreu: Gourmet-recommended charcuterie in Barcelona
Having surveyed my Catalan friends, Andreu is the name of the 80 year old family business that comes up each time I ask where to buy good Ibérico ham in Barcelona.
- Although we have eaten other excellent Ibérico ham in Barcelona, Andreu is our favourite as the quality is consistent and the degree of drying in always perfect.
Andreu’s Bellota Ibérico ham
To better understand the quality of Andreu’s hams, take a look at this video:
At Andreu’s, a sandwich or a loaf with Bellota Ibérico ham is pure pleasure. When you see the amount of ham on it, and you taste its mouthwatering flavour you will not regret the money you’ve spent (between 5 and 7 euros roughly) and you may even want another…
Bellota Ibérico ham is the flagship product of Andreu’s but you will also find chorizo, dried sausages, local or imported cheeses, various deli products or a range of tasty salads.
Having enjoyed their fare at the bar you can also buy some charcuterie to take home.
The shop works on a ticket system: dit i fet (said and done) and xarcuteria (charcuterie). If you want to buy a whole or boned ham or something ready-made, take a xarcuteria ticket, and if you want to buy something already vacuum packed, then take a dit i fet ticket
Be careful, as these two services are separate, so if you want service from both sections, get two tickets to avoid having an extra unnecessary wait, especially at the Illa store.
- Go for a 150 or 250 gramme pack of virutes d’espatlla de gla (shaved bellota shoulder) which you can find in the dit i fet section. You will pay around 75 euros per kilo rather than the 85 euros for the classic slices.
Before eating this soft and tasty ham, you should take them out of the vacuum pack and separate them for half an hour
Add slices of tomato bread to your ham, along with a little glass of red wine…we think you might just enjoy that!
3 Andreu addresses in Barcelona
The store at Illa-Diagonal shopping centre
This first Barcelona store was opened in 1994. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 9:30pm. The nearest metro station is Maria Cristina.
- Andreu at Illa has a great reputation, so head there for 11:30-noon, or around 7pm if you want to be sure to get a place at the bar and be able to eat in peace!
The store in Born near the Santa Caterina market
This store is less well-known and less popular then the one at Illa. It’s open Monday to Thursday from 9:30am to 8:30pm, Friday from 9am to 9pm and Saturday from 9am to 9pm. The nearest metro station is Jaume 1er.
The Eixample store on the Rambla Catalunya
This shop has very long opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 9am to 11pm, Friday and Saturday from 9am to midnight, Sundays and holidays from 10am to 11pm.
- It is possible to bring away a whole ham or a shoulder of Ibérico (smaller). It will be placed in a special protective packaging and makes for a great souvenir of Barcelona!