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Christmas brings rise in Serrano ham thefts
13 December 2019 @ 16:36

SUPERMARKETS and delicatessens have reported a sharp rise in thefts of legs of ham in the run-up to the Christmas period.

The festive season in Spain does not normally involve a set type of meal in the same way as Anglo-Saxon countries eat turkey, but tends to be a time when families eat food they would not normally be able to afford – or justify the cost of – the rest of the year.

These foods include top-of-the-range fresh seafood in coastal areas, expensive cuts of meat inland, and Serrano ham in both.

At any time of year, a leg of Serrano ham is expensive, largely because of the huge number of portions that can be cut from it – but near Christmas, even better-quality types go on sale and their prices rise.

For example, acorn-fed Serrano ham legs typically retail at between €400 and €600 during the Yuletide period.

This is a little too tempting for those with access to black markets and illicit profits, and can be for hard-pressed and less-honest individuals – although in practice, given their size of often up to a metre in length and their enormous weight, Serrano ham legs are not easy to steal.

Guardia Civil officers have reported cases of gangs sneaking into shops after closing time, by descending through skylights or even cutting holes in walls.



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