Parma Ham, 14 months old, 100g.
The hams are made from the rear haunches of the pig. The curing is controlled carefully so that the ham absorbs only enough salt to preserve it. By the end, a trimmed ham will have lost more than a quarter of its weight through moisture loss, helping to concentrate the flavour. As a result, the meat becomes tender and the distinctive aroma and flavour of Parma Ham emerge.
The hams are exposed to constant cold and humid conditions for 100 days. Then, they are kept in large maturing rooms for 3 months. This way they are protected from the sun. The windows are constantly opened and closed for circulation of the countryside air. In the seventh month, a mixture of pork fat and pepper called “sugnatura” is hand-applied onto the open surface of the meat. This is meant to protect and soften it. The hams are then put in cantina or cellars for at least 5 months, so that they can slowly dry under close supervision. The producers are trained and experienced in detecting any quality defects by the sense of smell. A horse bone needle which is used to check the curing outcome, before assigning the precious label of ‘Parma Ham’.
The longer the meat is aged, the drier, darker, and more concentrated in flavour it gets. Parma is excellent served on its own as a savoury snack.
it’s pretty awesome with a rosé wine
. Enjoy it aside with some pasta.