Food Tips: Prosciutto di San Daniele

Customers of Arkadia Foodstore can enjoy a vast selection of artisanal cheeses and cured hams from our delicatessen counters. One staple product is cured Italian ham, more commonly known as prosciutto. Not all prosciutti are equal. Next time give a try for some Prosciutto di San Daniele. Our delicatessens have hams aged up to 24 months.

The most reknown and prestigious prosciutto of the Italian peninsula in Prosciutto di San Daniele. This is a different prosciutto to Prosciutto di Parma. The differences between Prosciutti di San Daniele and Prosciutti di Parma are the pig’s age and weight before curing.

Prosciutto di San Daniele

In Parma – the pig must be ten months old and weigh at least 330 pounds, so that the uncured thighs weigh between 22 and 31 pounds.  The length of aging time is 9 – 10 months. A San Daniele prosciutto must be nine months old, weigh at least 353 pounds, the uncured thighs weigh around 25 pounds.  The length of aging is at least 12 months and sometimes up to two years.

The hams are initially stacked atop one another with weights, making the salt penetrate faster. Because of the stacking, San Daniele prosciutti are stiffer and much flatter.

More sea salt is used for San Daniele hams than in the process of Parma hams.  Neither brand ever uses preservatives.

The distinct guitar shape of a San Daniele prosciutto includes the hoof (trotter) which is another identifying character for the traditional Friulian style ham.

A pig thigh can only become Prosciutto di San Daniele if it fulfils three conditions:

1. Origin

Where the pig is grown is important. The thighs must come exclusively from pigs bred in ten regions of Northern Central Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche, Umbria).

 2. Tradition

The method of production is inherited from an ancient tradition. Since any form of freezing of the meat is forbidden, the fresh thighs must quickly reach the small hill town of Friuli, to set in motion a production process that recreates the natural rhythm of the seasons, using salt, without any additional chemical additives or preservatives.

 3. Source of Production

The production process must be carried out in San Daniele del Friuli. This can be defined as maturation, but in fact this process is something more, to do with the Genius loci of the prosciutto capital. A vital element is the good air that prevails here, where the winds that descend from the Carnic Alps meet those coming from the Adriatic, carrying resinous scents which mix with brackish aromas in an environment where humidity and temperature are regulated by the morainic land and the waters of the Tagliamento, one of the last European rivers to preserve its original course.

Enquire further with one of our delicatessens on your next visit to Arkadia Foodstore. Food for thought as life is too short.