Simple to Gourmet | A Useful Guide  to Prosciutto Di Parma

Simple to Gourmet | A Useful Guide to Prosciutto Di Parma

You might not be able to visit Italy this summer, but recreating Italian dishes might bring Italy to you. With a dash of this and a sprinkle of that, you can transform even the simplest dishes into gourmet. One of the best gourmet Italian meats to work with is Prosciutto Di Parma, which can allow beginner chefs to experiment with gourmet boards.

Nobody can forget their first experience tasting Prosciutto. Be it at a restaurant or a dinner party; this meat outshines all others. Let this experience not be your last. Prosciutto Di Parma is a great way to start your journey into the dynamic world of Italian meats.

The following guide provides everything you will ever need to know about Prosciutto Di Parma, the best Prosciutto variety that is usually served in thin slices as an appetizer. If you have some Prosciutto Di Parma nearby and are wondering how to use it, keep reading!

What is Prosciutto Di Parma?

In short, Prosciutto Di Parma is one of the many dry-cured Italian types of meat used as appetizers or in charcuterie boards. This gourmet meat is a type of Prosciutto that is covered with salt and other spices and left to cure for several months. The curing technique allows it its unique texture and flavor.

The History of Prosciutto

The history of Prosciutto goes all the way back to Roman times. In the earlier days, curing techniques were commonly used to preserve meat before more meat could be procured.

If you are interested in the roots of Prosciutto, this word has been derived from "proscenium", Latin for "before the stage". Cured meats were a delicacy in ancient Rome and were usually hung in front of stages for the gods. This made them popular over time, as battles were fought, and soldiers needed preserved meat to last them longer.

In the case of Prosciutto Di Parma, the meat is sourced from pigs born and raised in Parma, Italy. The meat is also much more flavorful, cured for much longer than other Prosciutto.

Types and Varieties of Prosciutto Found at the Italy Market

A visit to the Italian grocery store might feel like a plunge into the unknown. This is because there are so many kinds of Italian meats and subcategories out there. With Prosciutto, we may be used to categorizing it as ham, but it has different types.

1. Prosciutto Crudo

This Prosciutto is the raw form and is the most popular choice. It is also made from cured pork preserved through salt and exposed to nothing but air for several months. It tastes sweet and salty and is a common addition to a charcuterie board. Some of the varieties include;

  • Prosciutto Di Parma: The best-uncooked Prosciutto made without preservatives. The meat is known for its milder, sweeter taste as it is cured for much longer (at least 12 months).
  • Prosciutto Di San Daniele: This is cured for a lesser time than the others, leading to a saltier flavor.
  • Prosciutto Di Toscano: This is cured using Tuscan sea salt and only takes three months to cure before it is sold.

If you are looking for the most authentic Prosciutto Di Parma, here's a variety you'd love to explore.

2. Prosciutto Cotto

This is cooked Prosciutto, which is made in the same way. However, the meat is cooked after it is cured, leading to a much milder taste. The types include Culatello, Zampone, Prosciutto Cotto Americano, and others.

How It's Made

Prosciutto Di Parma is a type of Prosciutto made by curing pork for at least 12 months. The curing process involves adding salt to the meat to release moisture and prevent bacteria formation.

The meat is labeled with the date, excess fat is removed, and salting begins. Prosciutto is usually salted with sea salt and aged for at least two to three months. The longer the aging process, the better the taste.

Before the final curing process, the meat is washed with a vinegar-based solution and dried for several weeks. Then this ham is cured for a further year before it is sold.

What It Tastes Like

A good quality Prosciutto Di Parma cut will taste salty with a mildly sweet aftertaste. It looks salmon pink or deep red and contains flavorful fat that should melt in your mouth. You may enjoy multiple flavor profiles in one bite if you pair your Prosciutto slice with different spices and herbs.

How Is It Popularily Used

Prosciutto Di Parma is usually served in thin slices, with salads, or on charcuterie boards. It goes well with different kinds of Italian cheeses , fruits, and vegetables. If you like a sweeter taste, try wrapping it around figs, melons, or even some asparagus. You could also add it to your favorite dishes or surprise your guests with multiple meat pairings.

Get a bundle of exciting Italy market ingredients and decorate your boards with this classic meat.

How To Cook Prosciutto Di Parma

If you don't want to consume Prosciutto Di Parma in its raw form, you can choose to cook it. However, as is true for any meat, overcooking can deprive it of its authentic flavor. An overcooked slice of Prosciutto will taste rubbery and won't melt in your mouth.

Try not to add your Prosciutto Di Parma to a pan. Instead, choose a grill and preheat it to medium-high. Add your slice to the grill and cook it for about two minutes before you set it aside to cool.

Alternatively, you can use your oven to bake the slice. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake your slice for 10-15 minutes.

How To Use Prosciutto Di Parma

Most Italian meats are known for the comfort they provide to our taste buds. If you are having a bad day, a slice of Prosciutto Di Parma can turn it around. Simply wrap it up in your favorite cheese or add it to a fruit. As it melts on your tongue, witness all your worries melt away!

Eating Prosciutto Di Parma

When eating Prosciutto, you can add it to anything. Try crisping up that slice of Prosciutto and adding it to some pasta. If you think your usual salad has become bland and boring, you can add a slice of Prosciutto on top.

Prosciutto Di Parma can also be added to pizza. Sure, you may have to keep the heat at a minimum, but it can be done! Or perhaps adding it to your favorite vegetables such as peas, carrots, potatoes, asparagus, or greens is more your style.

Pairing Prosciutto Di Parma

To enjoy Prosciutto Di Parma, you must keep the other spices and flavors of the pairings or dishes at a minimum. Since you are indulging in gourmet meat, enjoy every last bit. The first time you eat Prosciutto, place it on your tongue and indulge in the sweet and salty taste.

This should be followed by something that contrasts the typical Prosciutto flavor or complements it. Wrap the thin slices around some figs and pears or fresh herbs such as basil to enhance the sweetness. Or go the other way and add some sour cheese to it.

The simpler the taste, the better the outcome. You can choose to pair your Prosciutto with some of the freshest Italian bread, such as the ones available here . Add some fresh, tangy cherry tomatoes and a slice of cured meat, and enjoy.

Serving Prosciutto Di Parma

Serving Prosciutto Di Parma is easy. Ensure you cut it into the thinnest slices or get the meat cut exactly how you want it. Use your imagination and wrap it around your cheeses or vegetables. You can also spread it across your charcuterie board, much like a river.

Why Prosciutto Di Parma is Better Than Other Meats

Prosciutto Di Parma is better than many other prosciutti available around the world. In fact, the region is known for its sweet and salty taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture. That is perhaps why the region and its delicacy are so protected.

Prosciutto Di Parma is a chef’s favorite. Every piece can come out different, depending onhow long it was cured and the methods. Moreover, the curing process doesn't incorporate preservatives and additives, so it is healthy and completely natural.

This variety is also aged a lot longer than other prosciuttos, leading to that burst of flavors you have been craving.

Popular Prosciutto Di Parma Recipes;

Some of the most popular recipes incorporating Prosciutto Di Parma include;

1. The Fresh Assortment
Prepare a platter with some of the freshest vegetables to create a clash of multiple flavors. Use asparagus, carrots, radishes, and lettuce (as per requirements) and cut them finger-length. Place them beside thin slices of Prosciutto Di Parma and soft-boiled eggs as a breakfast delicacy.

2.The Quick Fix
If you have a fresh green salad from the market and some Prosciutto Di Parma, why not pair them? A salad with fruits and vegetables can be a great companion for your Prosciutto slices.

3. Looks Can Be Desieving
Potatoes can be bland at first sight. However, they can definitely be used to add some gourmet flair to your dishes. Use those sweet potatoes, cut them into small rounds, and add some olive oil and salt. Crisp them up in the oven.

Add to these some goat cheese, herbs cooked in butter, and a slice of Prosciutto Di Parma sitting nicely on top. Enjoy!

Get the most authentic Italian ingredients to try these recipes today!


Remember that Prosciutto should be deep red or pale pink. If it has changed its color and turned grey, it might be spoiled. Similarly, meat that has grown mold, smells foul, or has been stored in the fridge for more than a week is a safety hazard. Prosciutto might be expensive, but it isn't worth risking your life! Only consume meat that is safe to eat!

Prosciutto Di Parma: The Chef’s Pick

At Supermarket Italy, you can get the chef's pick of all the ingredients you'd like in your pantry. It is easy to turn a simple dish into a gourmet one with unique and authentic ingredients. This is exactly what you will find here.

The Italy market is known for many things, but Prosciutto Di Parma never loses its popularity to any of the other meats. You can get a variety of flavors, but you might not get something as rich, flavorful, and gourmet as Prosciutto.

Prosciutto Di Parma is an easy and delicious pick for your next dinner party or intimate meat and cheese tasting. Ensure you source your meat from trustworthy and reliable vendors if you choose to consume it raw.

Prosciutto Di Parma is definitely a gourmet option. If you have never tried it before, we recommend you start small and try it with the cuisine you love. As you begin to adopt a taste, try to consume it in its raw form. Remember, less is more!

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