academia barilla  January 2007

Guide to other Prosciuttos from Italy

In my past two posts, I’ve delved deep into Prosciutto di Parma, [...]

In my past two posts, I’ve delved deep into Prosciutto di Parma, its production and a bit of the history behind this amazing meat.Prosciutto di Parma tasting

Now, let’s examine some of the other Prosciutti on the market, and, when possible, I’ll even throw in a little tasting guide for the other products that are out there, so as to show you how they differ from the regal Prosciutto di Parma DOP that Academia Barilla proudly sells also through its online gourmet store.

Other Prosciutti of Italy

As I said in this post, there are other excellent DOP Italian Prosciuttos, one of which comes from very close to Parma. The excellent Prosciutto di Modena is one of these DOP products; in addition, there are others from throughout the North of Italy.

Prosciutto di Modena –

Less nutty and sweet than DOP Prosciutto di Parma, this ham tends to be saltier than its neighbor from down the Via Emilia, and it has less marbling or fat content, as well.
Nonetheless, it is an excellent product to serve with chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano and aged Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, also of Modena. This Prosciutto doesn’t often make it out of Italy, since its production is very limited in numbers.

Prosciutto Toscano –
If you visit Tuscany and its beautiful art centers of Florence, Pisa or Lucca, you’ll be more likely to find Prosciutto Toscano than Prosciutto di Parma. These locally-made Prosciutti are the pride of the Tuscan pork producers, and are distributed to every little salumeria and butcher shop throughout the region. The DOP Prosciutto Toscano is a lot saltier than Parma or even San Daniele ham (see below for that ham’s description) to match the bland bread that is traditional for Tuscany. There is little production of this ham that ever leaves the Italian peninsula, and if it does, it is bound for other places in Europe, not North America.

Prosciutto di San Daniele –
Also an excellent DOP Italian Prosciutto, the variety from San Daniele del Friuli nearby the town of Udine is the second-most famous Italian gourmet Prosciutto behind the Parma variety. It has a very sweet taste with a recognizable after-taste. It is exported throughout the world, including to the United States, but it is not as common to find Prosciutto di San Daniele as it is to find Prosciutto di Parma.

Prosciutto Nostrale –

This is a non-DOP product, generally produced around agrarian towns in the “greener” provinces of Italy, and while there can only be one production method of Prosciutto di Parma, there could be hundreds for Prosciutto Nostrale. The term is loosely given to any Prosciutto production “typical” to one town, province or area. Tastes can range from incredibly salty to slightly sweet.

Stay tuned for my very next and final instalment on Prosciuttos worldwide – we will see how many other Prosciuttos are worth your gourmet love.

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