You can go to your local deli and get some cold cuts for a few bucks, or you can go to a Japanese steakhouse and, according to CNN Money, order Kobe Beef at 110 dollars per pound. (And that’s not even the most expensive food in the world! White winter truffles from Alba can cost anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 dollars per pound!) So what makes one type of meat more expensive than another? And are the world’s most expensive types of meat really worth the price tag?
The best prosciutto on the market will always set you back a few pennies, especially if it is from the province of Parma in Italy. This is where the finest prosciutto in the world is produced. Still, at roughly 20 dollars per pound, our Pio Tosini Prosciutto Di Parma is not nearly as pricey as some of the world’s most expensive meat. This 20-lb leg of imported Italian Prosciutto Di Parma is aged for an astounding 20 months, with nothing but salt and the natural Italian air that is filled with the scent of chestnuts and pine trees. Pio Tosini delivers the sweetest-tasting Italian hams with a luxurious, buttery texture. Because the bone is left inside, some people claim it adds even more flavor to the Italian meat.
While prosciutto is the more famous Italian dry-cured pork meat, culatello is actually the more valuable, more luxurious choice. It is made with the muscular part of the hind leg—the best cut of the pig. Culatello is rare and requires a high level of craftsmanship to produce, which is why it fetches such a high price. Levoni Culatello is made only in Italy from Italian pigs. It tastes slightly sweet with a touch of spice; a delicate flavor that pairs well with sweet fruit and artisan bread. It is recommended to pair Levoni Culatello with either a Malvasia or a Lambrusco wine, though sparkling wines and champagnes are also possibilities.
Serrano ham is to Spain what prosciutto is to Italy. Aged for over a year, the high quality of Monte Nevado ham is thanks in part to the slow maturation process and long natural curing that these expert meat producers cherish. As with all specialty dry-cured meats, the flavor of this prized Spanish ham is also decided by its unique environment, such as the local mountain winds.
What is the difference between regular prosciutto and prosciutto cotto? It’s simple: the latter is cooked, the former is not. Prosciutto Cotto is the same cut of meat as regular prosciutto (Prosciutto Crudo), but it is slowly cooked after the curing process. This Italian cooked ham is flavored simply with salt and a few additional spices, but has a lighter flavor than Prosciutto Crudo. Parmacotto Prosciutto Cotto is also from the prized province of Parma, Italy.
This three pound piece of Bresaola Bernina Punta is made from lean beef cuts that make it an incredible 98 percent lean. Bernina Bresaola is a raw, air-cured beef that has been seasoned with unique spice blends from the Valtellina region of Uruguay. The curing process maintains a regular moisture level for three months to keep the flavor and texture consistent. It is of such high quality that it is in the same price range as the best prosciutto, weighing in at around 20 dollars per pound.