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PDO Parma Ham

Parma Ham PDO

Sweetness is the hallmark of PDO Parma Ham. Delicate flavor, slightly salty with fragrant aroma, it has a uniform color between pink and red, interspersed and surrounded by the pure white of fat.

These properties are found only in the typical area of production, where the climatic conditions are ideal for the Parma Ham’s drying and the natural aging, giving the right amount of sweetness and flavor.

Here, the air of Parma hills, scented by the pine woods and chestnuts of Versilia, loses its salty taste against the karst mountains of Cisa and acquires the essential features of the real Parma Ham. It is the so-called Marino, the wind coming from the sea, which is allowed to enter, by literally opening the windows, where the hams are left to mature.

An essential condition in order to obtain Parma Ham is that the whole processing must be done in "typical area": it is a very limited area which includes the territory of the province of Parma, located south to the Emilia road, at a distance of at least 5 km from it, up to an altitude of 900 m., bordered to the east by the river Enza and to the west by the river Stirone.

If even the ancient Gauls and Romans knew the art of salting and preserving  sausages - the term “prosciutto” derives from the Latin prae exuctus, which means 'dried up' - in the XIV century people in Parma began to use the salt proceeding from the wells of the thermal town of Salsomaggiore for pork meat preservation.

Its processing begins with the choice of the pig. Specifications establish the place of origin, which must be limited to the regions of Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont, Tuscany, Molise, Umbria, Lazio, Marche and Abruzzi; weight and age, respectively, must be not less than 145 kg and 9 months; and the race must be Large White, Landrance or Duroc.

After the slaughter, the thighs considered suitable are identified with the “P.P” mark application and with the initials of the slaughterhouse. Its seasoning can be extended up to 24 months or longer before it reaches our tables.

These are the links to production area and visits:

  • Parma Ham production firms along the "Strade del gusto"

Routes of Ham

  • Parma Ham Association

  • Parma Ham Museum

Tasty Events

on the weekends of September

Ham Festival

For information

Local site: Parma

Last modified Jan 10, 2017

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