The Complete Guide to Prosciutto Cotto: All You Need to Know

The Complete Guide to Prosciutto Cotto: All You Need to Know

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What Is Prosciutto Cotto

Prosciutto cotto (cooked prosciutto) is an Italian cured ham made from the hind legs of a pig and is aged during a dry-curing process. It is slightly smoked with a thin salt crust, seasoned with spices, and slowly cooked over low heat for several hours before it is sliced into thin pieces.

It has a sweet flavor with a mild smoky aftertaste and you can serve prosciutto as cold cuts or used to flavor sauces and soups. Prosciutto Cotto is a delicious addition to charcuterie boards, sandwiches, or pizza. 

It is a popular ingredient in Italian cuisine, often used in salads, pasta dishes, paninis, and pizzas. It can also be eaten on its own with some freshly sliced toasted bread and olive oil.

This type of prosciutto is most commonly found in Italy but can also be found in other parts of the world. The longer it is aged, the darker and sweeter flavor.

history of prosciutto

The History Of Prosciutto Cotto

It's has been made in Italy since the Roman era, and its name comes from the Latin word “praecurrere”, which means “to jump ahead” or “pre-cure”. It is believed that this type of prosciutto was first created as a way to preserve meat in the absence of refrigeration.

In the 15th century, Italian salt makers began seasoning and curing prosciutto to extend its shelf life.

The curing process involved rubbing the ham with a special blend of SEA SALT, herbs, spices, and oils before it was hung to dry in a cool place for several months. During this time, some producers would also smoke the ham for a more complex flavor.

By the 19th century, Italian producers had perfected the art of making prosciutto and were producing both raw and cooked ham varieties. It became increasingly popular in the 20th century, as it was a convenient way to enjoy cured meats without having to go through a lengthy curing process.

Today, it is enjoyed all over the world and is a cornerstone of Italian cuisine.

How To Pronounce Prosciutto

The proper pronunciation of the word prosciutto is pro-SHOO-toh. The emphasis should be placed on the first syllable, which is pronounced with a long "oo" sound.

The last two syllables are both short and quick, like the sound of a hushed whisper. To help you remember how to pronounce prosciutto, think of it as a combination of the words "pros" and "scoot."

Pros sound like the beginning of the word professional, and scoot is like a quick hop or jump. Put those two together and you get pro-SHOO-toh!

By following these tips, you'll be sure to properly pronounce prosciutto in no time!

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Is Prosciutto Healthy

Prosciutto is generally considered to be a healthy food choice and contains many essential nutrients. It is rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins; low in calories; and free of trans-fatty acids.21 Day (2oz) Official HCG Diet Drops Program

  • One major benefit of prosciutto is that it's a great source of lean protein.
  • This type of meat provides about twenty-five grams of protein per three-ounce serving, which helps to build and maintain muscle.
  • Prosciutto is packed with important minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus.
  • These minerals help keep our bones strong and promote a strong immune system.
  • Vitamins found in prosciutto include niacin, Vitamin B6, and riboflavin.
  • Niacin helps keep our skin healthy, while Vitamin B6 aids in proper brain function and energy production.
  • Prosciutto also contains a good amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and heart health.

On the downside, PROSCIUTTO contains a high amount of sodium and saturated fat. Therefore, it should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Many brands contain added nitrates and preservatives, so it's important to read the labels before purchasing.

Overall, prosciutto can be an excellent addition to any healthy diet when consumed in moderation. With its rich source of protein, minerals, and vitamins, prosciutto can make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and other meals.

However, it's important to read labels for added preservatives and nitrates before consuming.

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What is Prosciutto Cotto Made From

Prosciutto cotto is made from the hind leg of a pig, which is cut into a paper-thin slice. The butcher will first remove any sinews or bones and then slice the meat into thin strips that are ready to be slowly cooked.

Typically, it is lightly seasoned with salt and pepper before starting the cooking process. Once it has been slowly cooked, it can be served in sandwiches, on pizza, or with other dishes.

It's a great way to add both flavor and texture to any dish. It is lower in fat and calories than other types of ham and since the meat has already been slowly cooked, it can be stored for longer periods of time without refrigeration.

It is a great choice for those looking for a tasty and versatile option that will still fit within their dietary requirements.

What Are The Different Types Of Prosciutto

These are 6 different types of Prosciutto.

  1. Prosciutto Di Parma - The most traditional and famous Italian ham. Prosciutto di Parma is aged for at least 12 months, this type of delicious prosciutto has a sweet taste with a hint of saltiness. It is usually served as an appetizer or used in cooking.
  2. San Daniele - A unique type of prosciutto that is made from the hind leg of a pig and aged for up to 18 months. It has a milder, sweeter taste than Parma ham and is usually served sliced thin as an appetizer.
  3. Italian Prosciutto Crudo - Prosciutto crudo is not a cooked ham but air-dried for at least 12 months. Prosciutto crudo has a salty, distinctive flavor and is usually served as an appetizer, either sliced thin or in a salad. The classic style of cured meat is called Prosciutto Crudo.
  4. Prosciutto Cotto - This type of prosciutto is a cooked ham and usually comes in a pre-sliced prosciutto deli-style format. It has a mild flavor that is often served with melon or as part of cold cuts.
  5. Prosciutto Di San Daniele - Prosciutto Di San Daniele is aged for at least 18 months and has a milder flavor than Parma Ham. Prosciutto Di San Daniele is usually served sliced thin as an appetizer or used in cooking.
  6. Prosciutto Toscano - This type of prosciutto is made from the hind legs of a pig and has a mild, slightly smoky flavor. It is usually served as an appetizer or used in the cooking process.

Prosciutto can be prepared in many different ways, from simple slicing to adding herbs and spices for added flavor. Whether you’re serving it as an appetizer or using it as an ingredient, prosciutto is a versatile and flavorful addition to any meal.

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Substitutes For Prosciutto

If you're looking for a substitute for your prosciutto recipes, there are many other meats that offer similar flavors.

Here are some other cured meats to consider:

  • Serrano ham – this type of Spanish ham is cured with salt and offers a sweet flavor.
  • Speck – this type of Italian smoked ham is cured for at least one year and offers a smoky flavor.
  • Jamón Ibérico – this type of Spanish ham is made from black Iberian pigs and offers a nutty flavor.
  • Coppa – this type of Italian cured meat is made from pork shoulder or neck and offers a sweet, smoky flavor.
  • Bacon – While not a cured meat, bacon offers a salty, smoky flavor when cooked and can be used as an alternative to the unique prosciutto taste.
  • Genoa Salami - This type of Italian salami is made with pork and offers a spicy, salty flavor. 

If you really don't know what type of cured meat is good then getting a mix of different kinds is the way to go. Follow this link to take you to                👉CARNIVORE CLUB👈 where you can find some amazing-tasting cured meat.

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The Best Foods That Pair With Prosciutto

Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Figs – Fresh figs pair beautifully with prosciutto, thanks to their sweet and slightly bitter flavor.
  2. Melon – Melon is a great accompaniment for prosciutto as it provides a sweet & juicy contrast to the salty prosciutto.
  3. Mozzarella – Mozzarella cheese is a creamy, mild cheese that pairs well with the salty flavor of prosciutto.
  4. Avocado – Avocado adds a creamy texture and slight sweetness to any dish with prosciutto.
  5. Artichoke hearts – Artichoke hearts offer a tangy and robust flavor that brings out the smoky notes of the prosciutto.
  6. Olives – Olives provide a briny flavor that pairs well with the saltiness of the prosciutto. If you love olives then you have to try these ITALIAN GREEN OLIVES.
  7. Arugula – Arugula is a light and peppery salad green that goes great with prosciutto.
  8. Crisp White Wine -  Crisp white wine complements the saltiness of the prosciutto, balancing its rich flavors with refreshing acidity.

These are just a few ideas for foods that pair well with prosciutto. Experiment to find which flavors you like best!

To learn more about other cured meats check out my blog on MORTADEALLA.

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Prosciutto is a delicious Italian cured meat that can be used in many recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With its salty flavor, it pairs well with sweet or tangy fruits and vegetables such as figs, melon, olives, and arugula.

Paired with creamy mozzarella or avocado, prosciutto makes for a delicious and satisfying meal. The possibilities are endless, so feel free to experiment with different flavors to find what you like best.

Prosciutto is an easy ingredient for adding savory flavor to any dish, making it the perfect addition to any menu.  It's often the star of charcuterie boards due to its intense and complex flavor profile but can be successfully used as an ingredient in a fresh salad, sweet fruits, or as a topping. 

What are some of your favorite foods to pair with prosciutto? Let me know in the comments below.

"Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links at no additional cost to you."

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What part of the cow is prosciutto?

Prosciutto is a dry cured ham that comes from the hind legs of a pig. It's typically thinly sliced and served raw in Italian cuisine.

Is prosciutto healthier than bacon?

It is generally considered to be healthier than bacon because it is not cooked or smoked like bacon. It also contains less fat and calories, making prosciutto a better alternative for those looking to maintain a healthier diet.

Is prosciutto a meat or cheese?

Cured prosciutto is a type of cooked ham, not cheese. It is made from pork legs and is usually thinly sliced before serving. Prosciutto can be served raw or cooked in Italian cuisine, and it adds a salty flavor to many dishes.  It is also commonly paired with fruits and vegetables for added flavor.

Can you eat prosciutto raw?

Yes, prosciutto can be eaten raw. It is often served as an appetizer in paper thin slices with melon or a variety of other fruits and vegetables. You can cook prosciutto for dishes such as carbonara or risotto for added flavor.

Why is prosciutto so expensive?

Prosciutto is expensive because it takes months to properly cure the ham. The curing process involves rubbing salt and other spices into the meat before aging it for several months, which adds to the cost of production.

How do Italians eat prosciutto?

In Italy, prosciutto is typically served as an antipasto or appetizer. It can also be used to add flavor to dishes such as pizza and pasta. Prosciutto is often paired with fruits and vegetables for a salty flavor contrast that Italians enjoy.

Can you eat too much prosciutto?

Yes, you can eat too much prosciutto as it is high in salt content. Consuming too much prosciutto may increase your risk of developing certain health conditions such as hypertension and stroke. It is important to enjoy prosciutto in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

What is the law Prosciutto Di Parma?

By law, Prosciutto Di Parma is cured for at least 400 days (starting from the date of first salting) and some may be cured for as long as 3 years. This is why Prosciutto Di Parma has such an amazing flavor.

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