I expect you"ve had the pleasure of eating prosciutto. Of course, i’m referring to the delicious Italian ham which originates from different parts of Italy in miscellaneous forms. I see it an ext and an ext in restaurants and also grocery shop throughout Chicago, however I’ve also noticed the it is far simpler to stimulate prosciutto in ~ a restaurant 보다 to obtain the best product at the grocery store. The understandable, due to the fact that this meat is not as ingrained in American culture as the is in Italian culture. Not to worry! I have the right to share what i’ve learned after life in Italy and becoming part of a proud Parma family members to assist you obtain the finest prosciutto to your table.

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

Let’s say you space planning to make a recipe that calls because that prosciutto, perhaps a pizza v prosciutto and also arugula or an appetizer the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. You come at the grocery store store, armed with your ingredient list and also ready come buy that prosciutto… just to find that there are numerous alternatives and the human being behind the deli counter is not specifically knowledgeable about this product. (I once asked because that prosciutto cotto at my local deli counter. The keep employee called me the they did not lug prosciutto cotto, yet I can buy prosciutto crudo and also bake the in the range for a couple of minutes to do prosciutto cotto. No true! The curing and also cooking processes develop entirely different results. )

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

Prosciutto crudo top top display

First and also foremost, prosciutto should be indigenous Italy. The most famed prosciutto-producing towns space Parma and San Daniele. There is a governing body which regulates prosciutto indigenous Italy, guaranteeing a level of quality based upon the pig’s diet and also the therapy of the meat. This will be shown on the packaging together “DOP” (similar to DOC or DOCG because that wine). If the is guarantee by the Consorzio di Parma, the leg will certainly be stamped through the crown prize below. Look for these icons of quality when buying prosciutto. Anything made exterior of Italy is not the genuine deal.



There are two types of prosciutto:

Prosciutto crudo, i m sorry is a cured ham hind leg, andProsciutto cotto, i m sorry is a cooked ham hind leg.

Both space delicious, and also both are consumed in very thin slices, but their flavors and also textures are rather different. Prosciutto crudo must be deep pink (not brown!) with white ribbons of fat. It have to smell sweet. Prosciutto cotto have to be pale pink and reasonably homogeneous in texture (i.e., no large ribbons of fat). The is comparable to the classic American deli ham. Both prosciutto crudo and also cotto are good in sandwiches, on peak of pizza, or simply eaten alone.

Prosciutto crudo

Prosciutto cotto

Prosciutto have the right to be sold currently sliced and also packaged, but in general, i have found prepackaged prosciutto to be fairly dry and tough. It have to be soft! therefore soft that it virtually melts in your mouth. Therefore, I like to acquire mine fresh sliced indigenous the deli counter. Once ordering prosciutto crudo at the deli counter, the slim layer of skin requirements to be gotten rid of before slicing. If not, you will have a difficult ring that skin approximately each piece of prosciutto.


A leg of prosciutto crudo, with the skin correctly removed indigenous the front half and all set to it is in sliced.

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A slice of prosciutto crudo demands to be document thin, therefore thin that you can nearly see through it. Every slice have to be set out flat with a item of parchment document between each slice to store them be separate until ready to serve. (I when received a balled increase wad that prosciutto crudo indigenous my regional deli counter!)

I have uncovered that I have to request “no skin, as thin as feasible please!” every time i order prosciutto crudo at my regional grocery store. Until prosciutto i do not care a household staple in America, we should go come the store armed with knowledge!

Now the you are all set to purchase prosciutto, shot working through prosciutto in ~ home, by make a straightforward cheese key or trying one of our favoritepizzarecipes native The Chopping Block.Also consider joining us for cook Lisa Count’s Italian Cicchetti Dinner on Tuesday, April 25th at the goods Mart, which will feature arancini with prosciutto crudo. It"s the following in our collection of chief Dinners.