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Prosciutto

Nutritional Information

1 oz boneless, prosciutto

  • Calories 55
  • Calories from Fat 21.24
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 2.36g4%
  • Saturated Fat 0.788g4%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 1.083g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.275g
  • Cholestreol 20mg7%
  • Sodium 764mg32%
  • Potassium 145mg4%
  • Total Carbohydrate 0.09g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 7.88g16%
  • Calcium 0mg0%
  • Iron 2mg11%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

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Prosciutto on Wikipedia:

Prosciutto di Parma

Prosciutto (English pronunciation: /prəˈʃuːtoÊŠ/,[1]) is the Italian word for ham. In English, the term prosciutto is almost always used for a dry-cured ham that is usually sliced thinly and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto.

Commonly associated with Tuscany and Emilia, the most renowned and expensive legs of prosciutto come from central and northern Italy, such as those of Parma, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and San Daniele.

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Etymology

The word prosciutto derives from the Latin perexsuctum, which gave way to the modern Italian word prosciugare, meaning ``to thoroughly dry``.

Manufacture

Sea salt being added

The process of making prosciutto can take anywhere from nine months to two years, depending on the size of the ham.

Writer on Italian food Bill Buford describes talking to an old Italian butcher who says:

“When I was young, there was one kind of prosciutto. It was made in the winter, by hand, and aged for two years. It was sweet when you smelled it. A profound perfume. Unmistakable. To age a prosciutto is a subtle business. If it’s too warm, the aging process never begins. The meat spoils. If it’s too dry, the meat is ruined. It needs to be damp but cool. The summer is too hot. In the winter—that's when you make salumi. Your prosciutto. Your soppressata. Your sausages.”[2]

Today, the ham is first cleaned, salted, and left for about two months. During this time the ham is pressed, gradually and carefully to avoid breaking the bone, to drain all blood left in the meat. Next it is washed several times to remove the salt and hung in a dark, well-ventilated environment. The surrounding air is important to the final quality of the ham; the best results are obtained in a cold climate. The ham is then left until dry. The amount of time this takes varies, depending on the local climate and size of the ham. When the ham is completely dry it is hung to air, either at room temperature or in a controlled environment, for up to eighteen months.

Various regions have their own PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), whose specifications do not in general require ham from free range pigs.

Prosciutto is sometimes cured with nitrites (either sodium or potassium), which are generally used in other hams to produce the desired rosy color and unique flavour. Only sea salt is used in many PDO hams, but not all; some consortia are allowed to use nitrite. Prosciutto’s characteristic pigmentation is produced by a direct chemical reaction of nitric oxide with myoglobin to form nitrosomyoglobin, followed by concentration of the pigments due to drying. Bacteria convert the added nitrite or nitrate to nitric oxide.

Use

Sliced prosciutto crudo in Italian cuisine is often served as an antipasto, wrapped around grissini or, especially in summer, cantaloupe or honeydew. It can also be wrapped in fresh mozzarella[3]. It is eaten as accompaniment to cooked spring vegetables, such as asparagus or peas. It may be included in a simple pasta sauce made with cream, or a Tuscan dish of tagliatelle and vegetables. It is used in stuffings for other meats, such as veal, as a wrap around veal or steak, in a filled bread, or as a pizza topping.

Saltimbocca is a famous Italian veal dish, where escalopes of veal are topped with a sage leaf before being wrapped in prosciutto and then pan-fried.

Prosciutto is often served in sandwiches and panini, sometimes in a variation on the Caprese Salad, with basil, tomato and fresh mozzarella. A basic sandwich served in some European cafes and bars consists of prosciutto in a croissant.

Culatello

Culatello is a refined variety of prosciutto, made from heavier pigs, cut to a fraction of the normal prosciutto and aged, and may be cured with wine, with Culatello di Zibello having PDO status. It is commonly served as a starter along with slices of sweet melon or fresh figs.

It is often served as a dish on