Some of Italy’s various hams are more highly regarded than others due to their distinctive tastes and methods of manufacture. Italian cured meats are highly prized around the globe and reflect Italy’s culinary prowess. These rare and expensive hams are delicious, especially the smokey Speck dell’Alto Adige, the delicate flavor and unique spice blend of the classic Salame Milano, or the peppery and smokey flavor of the lean Salame Napoli, and the sweet Culatello di Zibello. In this short write-up, we briefly highlight nine of the most notable types of Italian hams that you must try in 2023!
Mortadella is a traditional Italian salumi. It’s made from pork shoulder and is very fatty with a strong flavor. It tastes similar to Pancetta but has more funkiness due to its higher fat content.
Mortadella can be found all over Italy – you’ll find it at bistecca alla Fiorentina restaurants or local markets during the summer months, when farmers bring their livestock over from the countryside (they’re unable to produce enough meat for themselves). If you want something different from what you see daily at your grocery store or deli counter, try Mortadella!
Italian Hot Soppressata is a cured meat product featuring beef and pork and complements many different foods thanks to its strong but not overbearing spicy flavor.
Some common spices for this cured meat are red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, and garlic. The spices are mixed with ground beef, then the mixture is transferred into a casing for maturing, which takes a few months. Moreover, the process helps improve its taste and texture.
Hot Soppressata presentation
There are numerous methods for presenting Hot Soppressata. It’s great on a charcuterie board with other cured meats and cheeses or sliced thin and put on a sandwich for a tasty midday snack. Traditional accompaniments are toasted bread, a bit of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Spicy and flavorful meat can get a sweet and juicy boost with the addition of some fresh tomatoes.
According to Rovagnati, an Industry-leading charcuterie company, Hot Sopressata is a must-try for Italian cuisine enthusiasts. Its gradual fame amongst the rest of Italian cured meats in the past few years can be attributed to its versatility since it can be enjoyed solely or as a topping or ingredient.
Hot Soppressata’s versatility is a perfect way to step up the taste of any dish.
Prosciutto di Cinta Senese
Prosciutto di Cinta Senese is a hard, dry-cured ham from the province of Parma. The juicy and tasty ham is made from pork loin covered with salt, nitrates, and potassium nitrate. Once cured, it’s presented as fatty, bright red meat with a delicate smell.
Prosciutto di Modena
Prosciutto di Modena is a type of Italian ham originating from Emilia-Romagna. It is more enriched with flavor and aromas than other hams because it is cured for longer and has more fat since it comprises a pig’s hind leg.
It is often paired with barbecues and sandwiches, but you can get extra with your kitchen prowess and the flavorful ham at home. Your guests will be delighted.
Culatello di Zibello
Culatello di Zibello is a type of Italian ham that originates from the Piedmont region. It is made from the rare breed of black-footed pig’s meat and has a solid yet sweet porky taste. Despite the ham’s rarity, anyone with Italian cuisine (basically all of us) has probably had this ham. The name is derived from Città di Zibello, home of a monastery dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. The monks used to raise pigs there.
They were known locally as Zibelli because they resembled pigs more than other types of livestock found around Italy during this period.
Prosciutto Crudo is great for sandwiches because its mild flavor pairs well with other ingredients like cheese or vegetables. Known in Italy as “Gran Milano,” it is a dry-cured ham crafted with three components: meat, salt, and time, all mixed to create the prosciutto recipe. This famous Italian ham can be sold in sticks or chunks. The salami sticks are a perfect way to enjoy this Italian tradition on the go. The Salami Sticks are available in three flavors: Hot & Spicy, Classic Mild, and with Smoke Flavor. They are available in 2-oz. packages.
Prosciutto Cotto Classic
Also known as “Gran Biscotto,” it is Rovagnati‘s most beloved cooked ham in Italy and is made from fresh pork thighs worked by hand and slowly oven steamed. The cured products, including all three Salamis and the Prosciutto Crudo, are available in 3-oz. packages, and the cooked products, including the Mortadella and the Prosciutto Cotto are available in 4-oz. packages.
Prosciutto di Parma
Prosciutto di Parma is a dry-cured ham made in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. It was initially made from pork shoulder, but today it’s made from lean pork and fatty belly meat (known as Pancetta).
It comes with a high water content, meaning it must be aged for about
30 days before consumption – this allows the meat to infuse its flavors into your taste buds fully.
Speck dell’Alto Adige
Speck dell’Alto Adige is an Italian ham produced in the village of Sondrio, near Bressanone in the Alto Adige region. The ham comprises pork seasoned with salt, salts, and spices, including black pepper, cloves, and juniper berries. The mixture is covered for up to six months and then processed into hams. The hams are then cured similarly to the Italian dry meat salumi.
The Speck family have been making hams since 1835 when they began selling their products at local fairs and through their shops around Italy, where you can still find them today!
Ham is an excellent way of sprucing up things, especially at parties. Its versatility adds to the advantage, and as you already know, ham can be served alongside other dishes or as the main dish. Be sure to try out all the Italian hams mentioned above because they all taste.