There is probably a prosciutto for every village in Italy. For the good stuff, a master salumiere hand-trims and inspects each prosciutto ham. An intensive curing process includes rubbing and salting by hand, followed by long periods of air-drying. This sweet meat is served thinly sliced. The name describes the meat’s journey —prosciugare, to drain away or dry up. Here are some of the famous ones.
Prosciutto di Carpegna DOP — Carpegna was once a village in the Roman municipality of Pitinum Pisaurense. This cured ham, named after the village, is salted and naturally aged. The pink meat has a unique, sweet, and fragrant scent. Carpegna is delicate in flavor. The outside of this ham is covered in a small amount of fat.
Prosciutto di Modena DOP — Man acquired the skills of animal rearing and meat curing during the Bronze Age; Prosciutto di Modena dates back to this time. This pear-shaped meat has a bright red interior. The flavor is not salty, but distinctly sweet. The provinces of Modena, Bologna and Reggio Emilia share the production zone for Prosciutto di Modena.
Prosciutto di Norcia IGP –The Norcia area does not have ideal conditions for agriculture. Historically, the people of Norcia tended to focus on raising animals instead of growing crops. This naturally aged, salted meat comes from the rump of mature hogs. It is known for its savory aroma and flavor, without being overwhelmingly salty. The color of Prosciutto di Norcia ranges from pink to red. The Valnerina district is home to the production zone for this meat, as long as the land is 500 meters above sea level.
Prosciutto di Parma DOP — This 2000-year-old Italian masterpiece is treasured worldwide. Only salt is used in treating the prime, raw hog meat. The typical aging process for Prosciutto di Parma takes at least ten to twelve months, but could last twenty-four months. Prosciutto di Parma is protected by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma; an authentic product can be identified by the mark of a ducal crown.
Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP — The Patriarch and Bishop-Count of the Patriarchy of Aquileia demanded taxes for the town of San Daniele be paid in ham. The origins of Prosciutto di San Daniele date back to these medieval times, but its mass production did not begin until the 17th century. This guitar-shaped meat is aged, uncooked, and reddish-pink in color. The twelve to thirteen month sea-salt treatment process gives the meat a sweet, delicate flavor with an unmistakable aroma. San Daniele del Friuli, in the province of Udine, is the production zone. Note: The retention of the hog’s leg is a defining characteristic of Prosciutto di San Daniele.
Prosciutto Toscano DOP — This raw, aged ham is exclusively produced in Tuscany. Production regulations influence the breeding and raising of livestock, and the aging, treatment, and final properties of the meat itself. The round, red meat is typically between 8 and 9 kilos in weight when finished. Prosciutto Toscano has a delicate, savory flavor with a remarkably fragrant aroma.
Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo DOP — The color of this meat from the Veneto region ranges from pink to red. Only select adult hogs are used in producing Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo. After salting and aging, the flavor and aroma of this meat are both delicate and sweet.