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In Tuscany the art of salting pork goes back many centuries and developed in the Middle Ages, during the time of the guilds, or arts; we know this because already in the 15th century the entire process of production of Prosciutto was subject to strict rules.
In the sector of pork production Tuscany has a rather singular history: over the centuries the region had specialized in raising sows for the production of the piglets sent elsewhere for fattening. About 90% of the piglets born in Tuscany were sent to northern hog farm. In this contest the production of the fat hog for family consumption has come to acquire the trappings of a regular domestic ceremony, a feast of purity, flavor and richness that reached levels of real exellence.
Considering the fame earned through its goodness by Tuscan prosciutto, the typical products of rural pork processing led to the creation of many small businnesses that have succeded in maintaining the fine tradition of the Tuscan countryside.
Modern Tuscan Prosciutto DOP uses leg of pork bred, raised and butchered only in Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany. The legs of pork are chosen amongst the largest and are first shaped and trimmed, then dried and salted, with the addition of pepper and aromatic herbs. After a few days they are washed and seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, flour, lard and natural aromas. The prosciutto is then ready to be cured in well ventilated rooms where it hangs for 10 to 18 months. The salt and spices give the prosciutto that typical strong flavor that goes perfectly with unsalted Tuscan bread. A slice of prosciutto, cut freshly to a regular thickness, must be bright red to pink, with compact meat and a strong fragrance

Published: 30/10/2006

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