Free Cancellation Up to 48 hours in advance
Duration: 3 hours
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The secrets behind Prosciutto di Parma's success. Making a Parma Ham is a long and painstaking process.
Parma ham, better known as Prosciutto Crudo di Parma is an Italian DOP – a product whose production is limited and protected. For those who are not familiar with the Italian language, Prosciutto pronunciation sounds like 'Proshutto'. Parma ham is a unique cold cut, created with nothing more than pig meat, salt and 2,000 years of experience. This means there is no secret recipe behind this production, but the Italian traditional meat breeding and a few hills around the city of Parma where the pork legs are cured and seasoned.
You are welcome to join us on a short and intense tour. You will learn exactly what is prosciutto di Parma and why it can be produced only here, where the weather conditions are unique. The high level of humidity lets air-dried hams season slowly. The first hams are out after 12 months seasoning, while the most valuable ones remain in the cells at least 24 or 36 months. In this way, the parmesan ham can generate its distinguishing flavor and smell. You will be brought directly inside a farm where Prosciutto Crudo is produced. Here the internal staff will explain the different phases, remarking all the necessary control steps to obtain a high-quality product. The visit starts with the cold phase, where fresh meat is selected and processed. Then you will see the machinery used for salting and the refrigeration cells. During the hot phase, you will enter the maturing rooms and the final phase of the seasoning process. When the final tapping made by Mastro Prosciuttaio is given, the Parma Ham Consortium marks each piece with the famous logo with the crown of Parma.
During the tour, the sweet Parma ham scent will penetrate your senses. But do not worry, at the end of the tour you will have the possibility to taste different kinds of this precious cured meat, alongside a good glass of Malvasia dei Colli wine.
The story of the Prosciutto di Parma, one of the Italian most famous cured meats, dates back in the Etruscans age. Etruscans, located in Italy’s North-central regions (Toscana, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio), devoted themselves to breeding pigs and started to invent ways to preserve their meat. A few centuries later, Romans prosecuted this tradition. In the II century AC, for the first time, the Roman writer Catone described the Prosciutto production in his famous book De Agricultura. Then, another important historical evidence is coming from the Carthaginian general Hannibal. When Hannibal the conqueror entered Parma, the population was happy and offered him seasoned pork legs that have been conserved in wooden barrels covered with salt. Nowadays the prosciutto di Parma is strictly controlled by the namesake consortium born in 1963 to maintain the original production process, which involves no chemicals neither preservatives or additives. The final product is genuine, nutritive and low in fats. It conserves the inextricable link between humans, animals and the land where it's produced, the south-western part of the Parma county. We are close to the Via Emilia and the Po river so that humidity and fog come quite often to gently touch those pork legs during their seasoning.
Minimum 2 pax required
Fascinating watching parmesan being made; interesting prosciutto tour, nice tastings. Friendly and efficient
Greate guides and we got to see the hole prosess making cheese and ham. Good tastings with good wine!