Prosciutto () is the Italian word for ham. In English the word is almost always used for dry-cured ham which has not been cooked, in particular from central and northern Italy such as Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele.
TerminologyThe word prosciutto derives from the Latin perexsuctum, which gave way to the modern Italian word prosciugare which means "thoroughly dried" (lit., "(having been) very sucked out").
In Italian, "prosciutto" refers to the pork cut, not to its specific preparation. Italian speakers therefore make a distinction between prosciutto cotto (literally, "cooked ham"), which is similar to what English speakers would call "ham", and prosciutto crudo ("raw ham"), the dry-cured ham which English speakers refer to as simply "prosciutto" or "Parma ham". By default, in Italian menus (typically in pizzerias) an unqualified "prosciutto" refers to "ham" ("prosciutto cotto"), whereas "prosciutto crudo" is sometimes referred to simply as "crudo". Culatello is a special variety of prosciutto, made with a fraction of the normal cut and aged, and may be cured with wine, with Culatello di Zibello having PDO status.
ManufactureThe process of making prosciutto can take anywhere from nine to eighteen months, depending on the size of the ham.* Jamón ibérico, from Spain
- Jamón serrano, from Spain
- Presunto in Portugal (similar to Jamón serrano). Its name also derives directly from the Latin perexsuctum, like prosciutto.
- Pršut, from south-eastern europe :
- Dalmatinski Pršut, from Dalmatia in Croatia - may be more or less salty, with darker and drier meat. The town of Drniš is one centre for its production.
- Istarski Pršut, from Istria in Croatia - saltiness and dryness would put it in between Kraški pršut and Dalmatinski pršut.
- Njeguška pršuta, from Njeguši, Montenegro
- Kraški pršut, from Karst, Slovenia is generally less salty, less dry and with a gentler taste.
- Jambon afumat de porc, (Jambon), from Romania
Notes and references
- McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking (revised). New York, NY: Scribner, 2004. ISBN 0-684-80001-2
- Website of the Parma Ham Festival
- Prosciutto di Parma Product card by ProdottiTipici.com
- How to make traditional Central Italian cured pork specialties
prosciutto in German: Parmaschinken
prosciutto in French: Jambon de Parme
prosciutto in Italian: Prosciutto di Parma
prosciutto in Dutch: Parmaham
prosciutto in Japanese: プロシュット・ディ・パルマ
prosciutto in Slovenian: Pršut