Cured Meat Recipes

Get a primer on types of Mediterranean cured meats and recipes for pairing them with their ideal fruits and other ingredients.

The prestigiuous prosciutto di San Daniele 

Prosciutto crudo — this is an Italian dry-cured ham made from the hind leg of a pig or wild boar that is rubbed with salt and spices and often aged 10-12 months. Traditionally, they were made in the winter, to be served 1-2 years later. It is most often served uncooked, thinly sliced and with an aperitif or as part of an antipasti platter. It has a salty, gamey taste that goes perfectly with drinks. Each prosciutto crudo is very local, and traditional to its region.

Prosciutto cotto – is ham that has been cooked. It is the kind you often find in a cheese and ham sandwich.

Culatello – this is another Italian regional ham, often from Zibello, south of Parma, very close to the Po River (it’s all about the winds over the river and so on). It is very expensive as you can only use the muscular part of each hind leg of the pig.

Italian speck – not to be confused with the German bacon type of ham, the Italian speck is very similar to prosciutto but the meat has been cured first with spices and then lightly smoked.

Iberico ham – the Spanish and Portuguese version of dry-cured ham. “Iberico” refers to the breed of black pigs, traditionally fed on acorns. There are four labels to choose from — black, red, green and white, with black being the most expensive — the length of the ageing process is longer. The deeper the colour and more marbling you see, the better the ham as the richer it will taste. The ham is hand-cut and served with drinks.



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