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What is prosciutto?

Prosciutto means ham in Italian. If an Italian talks about prosciutto, he may be referring to the cotto (cooked) or the crudo (raw) variety. But when Americans talk about prosciutto, they are generally referring to raw cured ham, the most famous of which are the Italian-made prosciutto di Parma and prosciutto di San Daniele.

Prosciutto is made by salting and pressing the ham for about two months, until it is drained of blood; it is then rinsed well and left out to dry in a cool environment. The aging process can take up to three years, depending on the patience and quality of the producer. Nitrates may or may not be added.

The glossy cured ham is shaved into paper-thin slices; it has a deep saltiness and a rich texture that melts on the tongue and is a no-brainer appetizer served with summer melon, wrapped around bread sticks or vegetables, served with mozzerella and tomatoes, or on its very own, preferably with a glass of sparkling Prosecco.

Several varieties of prosciutto are protected by the EU. French jambon de Bayonne and Spanish Jamón serrano are just two examples of similar air-dried hams produced elsewhere.

Recipe: Veal Cutlets Stuffed With Prosciutto And Sage (Cookthink)
Recipe: Radishes Wrapped in Prosciutto (Cookthink blog)

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