With the super hot and humid weather we’ve been having, I’ve been jonesing for salmorejo*, which I love even more than gazpacho. But a good salmorejo needs finely diced ham for a garnish– and it’s hard to find the butt end of a serrano, much less an iberico, around here. In Spain, where food doesn’t get wasted, the tougher, left-over end of the ham is used in croquetas, with sauteed vegetables, as garnish for soups…. The tender slices, on the other hand, are eaten just as they are.

Happily, the lovely people at one of my favorite cheese shop/resto places in Providence just called to tell me that they’ve got an end of ham that they’re willing to sell me. (I asked them very nicely.) I’m making a special trip up to Providence tomorrow to get it.

*In the U.S., salmorejo is usually considered a chilled soup, but in Spain, it’s more of a dip, served with bread and breadsticks — or if you’re very lucky, thinly sliced fried eggplant.