I expect you"ve had the pleasure of eat prosciutto. That course, i’m referring come the delicious Italian ham which originates from different components of Italy in miscellaneous forms. I watch it more and an ext in restaurants and grocery stores throughout Chicago, yet I’ve additionally noticed that it is far less complicated to bespeak prosciutto at a restaurant than to gain the ideal product in ~ the grocery store store. The understandable, due to the fact that this meat is no as ingrained in American society as that is in Italian culture. Not to worry! I can share what i have learned after life in Italy and becoming component of a proud Parma family members to help you acquire the ideal prosciutto to your table.

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People gather exterior the windows of La Prosciutteria, a famed store because that cured meats and prepared foods items in downtown Parma, Italy.

Let’s say you are planning to do a recipe that calls because that prosciutto, perhaps a pizza with prosciutto and arugula or an appetizer the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. You arrive at the grocery store, armed with her ingredient list and ready to buy that prosciutto… just to find that there space numerous choices and the human being behind the deli respond to is not precisely knowledgeable around this product. (I as soon as asked for prosciutto cotto at my neighborhood deli counter. The save employee told me the they did not bring prosciutto cotto, however I can buy prosciutto crudo and also bake that in the range for a few minutes to make prosciutto cotto. No true! The curing and also cooking processes create entirely various results. )

So, what carry out you do? enable me come demystify this meat.

Prosciutto crudo on display

First and foremost, prosciutto should be native Italy. The most famed prosciutto-producing towns are Parma and also San Daniele. Over there is a governing human body which regulates prosciutto indigenous Italy, guaranteeing a level the quality based on the pig’s diet and also the treatment of the meat. This will certainly be shown on the packaging as “DOP” (similar to DOC or DOCG because that wine). If the is guarantee by the Consorzio di Parma, the leg will be stamped through the crown symbol below. Look because that these signs of quality once buying prosciutto. Something made outside of Italy is no the actual deal.



There room two species of prosciutto:

Prosciutto crudo, i beg your pardon is a cured ham hind leg, andProsciutto cotto, i beg your pardon is a cooked ham hind leg.

Both room delicious, and also both are consumed in an extremely thin slices, however their flavors and also textures are quite different. Prosciutto crudo need to be deep pink (not brown!) through white ribbons that fat. It must smell sweet. Prosciutto cotto must be pale pink and reasonably homogeneous in texture (i.e., no huge ribbons that fat). The is similar to the standard American deli ham. Both prosciutto crudo and also cotto are an excellent in sandwiches, on top of pizza, or simply consumed alone.

Prosciutto crudo

Prosciutto cotto

Prosciutto deserve to be sold already sliced and also packaged, however in general, i have discovered prepackaged prosciutto come be fairly dry and tough. It should be soft! for this reason soft the it practically melts in your mouth. Therefore, I choose to gain mine fresh sliced from the deli counter. When ordering prosciutto crudo in ~ the deli counter, the slim layer that skin requirements to be eliminated before slicing. If not, friend will have a tough ring the skin around each item of prosciutto.


A leg of prosciutto crudo, through the skin correctly removed indigenous the front half and prepared to be sliced.

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A slice of prosciutto crudo needs to be file thin, so thin the you can practically see with it. Each slice have to be to adjust out level with a piece of parchment paper between each slice to store them be separated until all set to serve. (I as soon as received a balled up wad that prosciutto crudo from my local deli counter!)

I have found that I need to request “no skin, as thin as feasible please!” every time ns order prosciutto crudo in ~ my regional grocery store. Until prosciutto becomes a family staple in America, we have to go to the store armed with knowledge!

Now that you are all set to acquisition prosciutto, shot working with prosciutto at home, by make a straightforward cheese bowl or trying among our favoritepizzarecipes indigenous The Chopping Block.Also take into consideration joining united state for chief Lisa Count’s Italian Cicchetti Dinner top top Tuesday, April 25th in ~ the merchandise Mart, which will attribute arancini v prosciutto crudo. It"s the following in our series of chef Dinners.