Discover how prosciutto is made
Prosciutto is obtained from the hind leg of the pig, the foot or paw may or may not be kept. In some cases (e.g. Prosciutto di San Daniele) it becomes a characteristic part of the prosciutto. The leg can be divided into three main parts: 1. Shank end 2. Centre 3. Butt end It consists mainly of muscle tissue. After slaughter, this tissue is naturally subjected to various biological modifications that allow the raw meat to be transformed into prosciutto by controlling the temperature and moisture during the different phases of processing.
The Italian territory offers various regional excellencies, many of which are protected by regulations aimed at certifying their origin and quality. The EC has established standards for specific product types. As regards the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs, PDO certification is particularly important. PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)) The "designation of origin" is used to indicate an agricultural product or a foodstuff: • Originating in a specific region, place or country, • The quality or characteristics of which are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment, including natural and human factors • The production, processing and preparation of which take place in the defined geographical area. Examples of PDO Prosciutto are: Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham) and Prosciutto di San Daniele (San Daniele Ham).
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THE GLOSSARY Homogeneity of colour: colour of the lean part of the slice. It can be more or less homogeneous between individual lean parts and within the same Amount of fat: proportion of fat to lean in the slice Marbling: distribution of fat within the slice Tyrosine crystals: when cutting a well-aged prosciutto, it is possible to observe whitish formations with a chalky appearance, mainly composed of the amino acid tyrosine. AFTER SLICING 1 - VISUAL ANALYSIS The homogeneity of the lean colour and fat colour and the marbling must be assessed. It may be helpful to look at the slice against the light in this phase. 2 - OLFACTORY ANALYSIS By bringing the slice closer to the nose, you can appreciate its flavours even before tasting it. 3 - TASTE ANALYSIS To better appreciate the product, it is advisable to take a piece that contains both lean and the fatty parts so as to have the combination and flavours of both on the palate.