Learn about the making of prosciutto crudo
Prosciutto Crudo is made from the hind leg of the pig. The foot or hoof may or may not be retained. In some cases, as with San Daniele prosciutto, it becomes a defining characteristic of the product. Mainly composed of muscle tissue , the thigh can be divided into three parts: Shank, Heart and Underbone . After slaughtering, the thigh muscle is naturally subjected to various biological changes that, during different stages of processing, at controlled temperature and humidity , allow the raw meat to be transformed into prosciutto.
Italy boasts numerous regional specialties, many of which are protected by specifications certifying their origin and quality, in compliance with specific standards defined by the European Commission for each type of product. With regard to protection of geographical indications and designations of origin of agricultural products and foodstuffs, PDO certification is particularly important.
PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) "Designation of origin" is used to indicate an agricultural product or foodstuff originating in a specific geographical area whose quality and characteristics are essentially or exclusively related to a particular geographical environment, including natural and human factors. In order to obtain PDO certification, the production process, processing and elaboration of the product must take place in the same delimited geographical area . Examples of PDO prosciutto are Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto San Daniele.
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Glossary Homogeneity of color: the color of the lean part of the slice may be more or less homogeneous, both between and within individual lean parts. Fat quantity: the proportion of fat to lean part of the slice. Marbling: the distribution of fat within the slice. Tyrosine Crystals: Chalky-looking whitish formations, composed mainly of the amino acid tyrosine, visible when cutting a well-cured prosciutto. After slicing Starting from a visual analysis, looking at the slice when held up to the light can be useful to assess the homogeneity of lean color, fat color, and marbling. Bringing the slice closer to the nose, we then proceed to olfactory analysis to better appreciate the aromas before tasting it. Finally, to best appreciate the product we end with the taste analysis. It is advisable to take a piece that contains both the lean and the fatty part so that, on the palate, you can perceive the combination of flavors of the two together.