Tucked away in an industrial area of Richmond is a delicious destination for foodies: ARC Iberico Imports. Owner Antonio Romero Casado has devoted himself to delivering the top tastes of Spain, especially Cinco Jotas ham.
Founded in 1879 in southwestern Spain, Cinco Jotas uses only Ibérico pigs in their world-renowned artisanal ham. Each one of their purebred black pigs ranges freely on 2 hectares of hilly meadows, munching on more than 14 kilograms of acorns daily during acorn season. And each leg of Iberian ham is cured in a centuries-old cellar for three to five years before being carved by hand into thin, lightly marbled slices.
The end result is the world’s most exquisite ham, with a rich ruby colour, silky texture and nutty flavour. Try it for yourself at ARC, Canada’s only distributor of Cinco Jotas products, and learn why it’s on the menus of high-end restaurants worldwide. ARC also offers catering and carving services led by Casado, the only master ham carver in the country.
While in the store, stock up on imported products such as conservas, charcuterie, frozen meats and seafood, and assorted Spanish pantry staples, all of which can also be shipped across the country. For holiday giving, the company’s carefully curated gift baskets are overflowing with luxurious Spanish fare such as Iberian ham, olives, olive oil, paprika, chargrilled squid in ink, sangria, wine and turrón (a confectionery made from nuts and honey).
If you’re curious to sample all these Spanish flavours but don’t know where to start, visit the onsite wine and tapas bar. Jamoneria by ARC dishes up an assortment of mouth-watering Spanish plates, including cheeses, bocadillos (toasted sandwiches), octopus and king prawns, and offers advice on how to recreate these palate-pleasing plates at home.
Buen provecho! —Sheri Radford