PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA
Parma ham is a typical salami of the province of Parma, more precisely the production area is located 5 km south of the via Emilia, up to an altitude not exceeding 900 m. It is famous all over the world and stands out not only for its nutritional peculiarities (the only ingredients are pork and salt, without additives or preservatives) but also for the "crown", the brand that is branded only on the original.
The fame of Parma ham, the exclusive specialty of Parma lardaroli, has its roots in ancient times, in Roman times. Parma, then located in the heart of Cisalpine Gaul, was renowned for the activity of its inhabitants who raised large herds of pigs and were particularly skilled in producing salted hams.
The prime minister of Don Filippo di Borbone, Guglielmo Du Tillot, had studied a plan for the construction of two slaughterhouses for pigs in Parma, to enhance and increase the local salami industry. The development of this tradition was undoubtedly influenced by the presence in the Parma area of saline springs such as those of Salsomaggiore. The primitive phase, entirely handcrafted, has progressively developed up to the present day towards an industrialization process which, by significantly improving the hygienic conditions, has been able to keep the traditional characteristics of the product intact.
In 1963, the producers themselves set up the Parma Ham Consortium to protect the quality of this raw ham, which has supervised the processing and choice of raw materials ever since. Furthermore, in 1996 the European Community granted Parma ham the recognition protected designation of origin (PDO). The brand requires the registration of production specifications and compliance with the same by anyone who intends to use them.
Raw ham with a sweet and refined flavour, it is a low-calorie dish, but with an intense flavour. The only preservative allowed by the disciplinary, in smaller quantities compared to other types of raw ham, is salt, other than that there are no additives. Biomolecular studies have shown that ham maintains its natural red color thanks to the natural curing process of the product (proteolysis).
Parma ham lends itself to pairing with different flavors. Both with various cheeses, and with fruit such as melon for appetizers or light meals, and in more elaborate preparations such as roast pork or the famous Parma rose.
Depending on the ageing, it goes well with different wines. The less seasoned ham goes well with a young red or a still or sparkling white, the more seasoned ham goes with more intense wines.