Parma Ham: The Fame of Italian Prosciutto
If you are living in Rome or planning on going there at some point in the future, you will want to savour one of Italy’s most famous gastronomical delights. Few cured meats can match the glory and refinement of Italian hams, and Parma ham (a.k.a. prosciutto di Parma) and its cousins are among the most sought after in the world. So what makes this ham so special? If you have tried it there is no need to ask, but we have put this article together all the same to suit novices and gourmets alike.
Sponsored linksParma Ham: What is Prosciutto?
We wouldn’t be making such a big deal about Italian prosciutto if it wasn’t such a big deal. Parma ham is a lot different from the pre-packaged fair you’ll find at your local supermarket. It is a centuries old tradition, an art if you will. Italians use the word prosciutto commonly to refer to ham, but the real sense of the word refers strictly to the uncooked, salted and dried variety. It takes no less than 18 months to create this cullinary masterpiece, which is an elaborate and strictly regulated process involving a series of techniques to ensure the correct flavor and texture, as well as the famous poker test to make sure the right aroma has been achieved at the prosciutto’s core. For a more detailed description check out these prosciutto facts, the nutritional content at Parma Ham PDO or a description of the process known as the sugnatura at the blog Adventures in Italy.
Parma Ham: A Serious Business
Not all hams can be prociutto ham from Parma, and there is a governing body, The Parma Ham Consortium, which ensures that quality standards are met, doing away with some 70,000 imperfectly aged hams every year. There is even a Prosciutto di Parma Festival which takes place every year in the Italian city of Parma where you can immerse yourself in everything that is or has to do with prosciutto. Prosciutto di Parma is a veritable industry involving 164 producers, 5,000 pig farms, with an annual turnover of some 1.7 billion euros (almost 2.3 billion dollars).
Parma Ham: Where to Find Prosciutto
Prosciutto is very easy to find in Italy, and can be found on just about every menu and behind every cured meat counter. Once you’re out of Italy, however, finding the good stuff can be a little more difficult, often requiring some research. The best advice i sto look for it in upscale gourmet supermarkets, or in a traditional Italian deli. Don’t fret though, because Italian prosciutto direclty from Parma can be ordered on-line and delivered to your doorstep through sites like Parma Shop, iGourmet and Italian Foods and Wines.
Parma Ham: Check Out Some Recipes
We at Rome-explorer.com hope to have whet your palate and have also dedicated a page to Prosciutto Recipes for further exploration into this topic.
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