Thursday, January 11, 2018

Hello, I'm your Jamonero.

The week started with a rather lengthy post about about pancakes. Perhaps it's only fitting that we end  the week talking about jamon. Or as we Americans say ham. Or as we Jewish Americans say tref.

I often use this bully pulpit to talk about the various forms of modern day advertising. And have often gone to great lengths to mock, deride or otherwise poo-poo our current fascination with all things digital.

But alas, I have discovered one medium that is even less productive -- the door-to-door hand flier.

I don't know how it works at your home, but at mine there is a daily barrage of fliers, door knob hangers and welcome mat proper uppers to greet me every day. From the local dry cleaner. To the local tree trimmer. And everything in between, maids, cobblers, and handymen. Not only have I never acted on one of these handbills, I have simply stopped reading them. They go from my front doorstep directly to the recycle bin on my driveway.

Yesterday was different.

As I was going to retrieve my NY Times I noticed a young man who had parked his old style Schwinn at the end of my walkway. This bespectacled young man in fashionable Capri pants had just placed a flier on my step. I must have looked curious because he offerered, in very broken English, ...

"I'm just going around the neighborhood, passing these out. I hope you will consider my services."

And with that I grew even more curious.

Here's why.

He was a real live Jamonero -- a Master Ham Carver.

As the back of his flier explained, carving ham is a bit of an art. And Pedro was hawking his art across the tonier neighborhoods of West Los Angeles.

I'm sure my wife and I had witnessed one of these skilled bladesmen, or bladeswomen, years ago when we galavanted across the Iberian Peninsula and ate our dinners at 11 o'clock in the evening. But never noticed them due to our excessive consumption of beer and tequila.

I should also mention that there's zero to less than zero chance that my wife and I would be requiring the services of a Jamonero, even one as charming as Pedro.

We don't eat much pig, not because of any stupid Jewish dietary laws, we're just not big pig people. And if we do, it's usually in the form of baby back ribs, slowly smoked on my new Traeger grill for 8 loving hours.

Or we'll eat bacon. Thick center cut, applewood smoked bacon.

Mmmmm, bacon.

Mmmmm, bacon and pancakes.

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