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A tapas masterpiece!

These guys at a little tapas bar in Granada are maestros just like master sushi chefs. Just when the platter looks done, they pull out five more ingredients and start chopping, slicing and carving like crazy. These plates took about ten minutes to prepare.

Of course you need a source for all of this ham...

Now, you couldn't have a ham-crazed country without a Museum of Ham (Museo del Jamon) ...
... and a Palace of Ham (Palacio del Jamon) ...
... and of course a Ham Paradise (Paraíso del Jamon) rounds things out.

All three of these temples to the ham are located within a few blocks of one another in Madrid.

Inside the Museum of Ham (Museo del Jamon) in Madrid -- ham as far as the eye can see.
Many bars and restaurants have whole hams hanging from the rafters.

The red and white plastic cups are intended to catch any dripping juices.

When it comes time to serve, the ham is set in a place of honor on the bar -- bone, hoof and all. The bartender slices bits off for tapas and leaves the rest out to tempt patrons.

At first this appears to be a bizarre and archaic tradition, then it becomes perfectly clear that this IS a bizarre and archaic tradition. It is pretty cool, if you ask me.


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