“Prosciutto di Parma is really a unique product that speaks so much to the place it is from and contributes so much to the culinary richness of the Emilia-Romagna region. The idea that the same process is used to cure this product as they did 2000 years ago is pretty amazing. There is nothing in the world like Prosciutto di Parma and I am proud to have it on my menus and in my home.”
Chef Michael White (Chef & Owner Altamarea Group and National Ambassador, Consorzio del Prosciutto del Parma)
Last week, I joined an exuberant and ravenous group of food media and retailers for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma at Chef Michael White's Osteria Morini restaurant in NYC. Silky and luscious Prosciutto di Parma is not only delicious, it is truly a natural and minimally processed food - the only ingredients are pork legs and Sicilian sea salt. How many producers can honestly say that about their cured meats? The hams are salted by hand, held for 100 days in climate controlled refrigerators, and then rinsed and moved to airy rooms where these pampered hams cure in the dry breezes that waft through the region. Every leg of Prosciutto di Parma is aged for at least 400 days and up to 36 months. As Prosciutto di Parma ages, the flavor becomes less salty, more complex, and drier in texture.
Prosciutto di Parma can be produced only in the gently rolling countryside surrounding the city of Parma, most notably in the area of Langhirano and only from three specially-selected pig breeds. Although Prosciutto di Parma has been produced the same way for thousands of years, the Consorzio was not founded until 1963 and today it represents 156 producers who supply 10 million of these coveted hams annually to markets all over the world. There may be many imitators on the market but every leg of authentic Prosciutto di Parma is branded with the regal Ducal Crown.
This melon cocktail with a Prosciutto di Parma rim was a very chic sip of salty & sweet.
Prosciutto di Parma is incredibly versatile - eat it alone, with fresh melon, in pasta dishes, and use it to add some wow to your desserts and cocktails. A great selection of recipes can be found on the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma website. Don't feel like cooking? Well, if you can't make it to Italy, I highly recommend a visit to Osteria Morini - Chef White's menu features Prosciutto di Parma and delectable dishes from Italy's Emilia-Romagna region.