Simply, Prosciutto means ‘HAM’ in Italian. The word has come to describe the salty, pink and thinly sliced Charcuterie, beloved around the world.
Luckily for us – No. Typically, there are two types of Prosciutto.
If you are picturing ‘Prosciutto’ adorning a platter as you bask in the Italian sunshine, you are probably envisioning Prosciutto Crudo… so, let’s run with that.
Most regions in Italy have their own variation of Prosciutto. Globally, the most common and best known are Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele.
Other World Charcuterie Awards suggestions are Prosciutto di Carpegna, Prosciutto di Norcia and Prosciutto di Modena with each cure offering its own particular flavour.
Prosciutto is extremely flavourful, a balance of delicately sweet yet salty. Generally, it has a pink to brownish red colour depending on how long the meat has been aged. The drier and darker the colour, the more concentrated and intense the flavour. Each slice is streaked with fat which melts on the tongue.
Some varieties maybe cured with spices or herbs. The delicately flavoured Prosciutto di Vallee d’Aoste traditionally adds sage, rosemary juniper thyme and bay leaf to give its unique fragrance and taste.
The process of curing Prosciutto dates back to pre-Roman times. In Italy, the home of Prosciutto, villagers originally dry-cured pork legs to extend their much-needed meat supply in the long winter months. Rest assured, they are experts.
The process is simple enough…
Prosciutto needs salt, air and time to get its unique flavour and texture. You can’t rush a masterpiece!
Since ‘Prosciutto’ translates to ham, the obvious answer here is…yes.
Other countries produce dry cured ham often similar in texture and taste to the Italian offerings.
Whether your ham of choice is from Italy, China, France, Spain or even Portugal, serve it in paper thin slices. To best appreciate its flavour, serve it at room temperature. Simply place a piece in your mouth and let the fat melt on your tongue and coat the palette as you savour the leaner parts of the meat with its sweet, salty and full flavour!
It also pairs beautifully with:
Have you heard of Prosciutto’s more refined older sibling…Culatello?
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