September 27, 2011

Visit to a Parma ham factory

We jumped on one of the rare chances to get to see how Parma ham is made, the factories  are usually  not open for visits, only during the "Festival del Prosciutto di Parma" they do guided tours.

Production of Parma ham

The whole process, from the moment when the meat comes in, follows 500 years old rules and there is nothing else involved than high quality meat, salt, time and a lot of knowledge. The location also plays an important role, so it´s not a coincidence that Langhirano, a small town close to Parma, became famous for its Ham - most of the factories are located in the surrounding hills, they get the salty wind from Liguria, which gives the Ham its special taste.
By the way, it´s a beautiful view from there and the tasty smell of Parma ham makes it feel like Paradies!
Every single Ham has to be controlled by the Consortium before it gets the seal and I couldn´t believe what I saw: The Controller has something that looks like a long needle (actually it is a bone from a horse), pokes into the Ham in three different spots and smells at the needle after every poking - it looks kind of weird! So if you get to see a whole Prosciutto di Parma, look for three small spots where the needle went in! And another thing: The Ham starts loosing its flavor in the moment you cut it,  my advise is: Buy your Prosciutto in shops where they sell a lot!

1 comment:

admin said...

I love Prosciutto di Parma!! The people who live near shops that will slice the ham upon request are lucky, try to get it paper thin and eat within a day or so, for the best flavor.