Common Questions at the Deli-Counter

Common Questions at the Deli-Counter
Common Questions at the Deli-Counter
Why Prosciutto di Parma? What’s in it?
Prosciutto di Parma is an all-natural, gluten-free product completely free
of preservatives and GMO’s. It is made only from the hind legs of specialtybred pigs and sea salt.
Where is it from?
Prosciutto di Parma can only come from the province of Parma in
North-Central Italy where unique microclimates and Mediterranean breezes
combine to provide ideal conditions for curing meat. Prosciutto di Parma is
also called Parma Ham.
How old is it? What’s the difference between the ages?
Every leg of Prosciutto di Parma is aged for at least 400 days and up to
36 months. As Prosciutto di Parma ages, the flavor becomes less salty,
more complex, and drier in texture. Use younger ages for cooking and
enjoy longer aged legs as-is.
Why is it so expensive?
Prosciutto di Parma is a product of superior quality that can be easily
traced through all stages of production by various quality control
inspection stamps and markings. It is an artisanal and unique product
that has earned a certified PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status.
What is the difference between Prosciutto di Parma and other cured hams?
There are many factors that help Prosciutto di Parma stand out. The process
begins with the unique terroir of Parma and quality of the raw ingredients.
Pampered pigs are raised on a special diet that includes whey from
Parmiggiano-Reggiano production that takes place in the region. The end
product is entirely free of preservatives and has a sweeter taste compared
to Serrano ham and other prosciuttos.
Is it salty?
PDP has significantly less sodium than other hams and deli meats. In
fact, steps have been taken over the past 10 years to improve production
techniques and lower the salt content of Prosciutto di Parma. The average
percentage of every ham is only 5.3% salt content and, for salt-sensitive
consumers, recommend a longer aged PDP that will taste less salty.
How do I serve it?
Prosciutto di Parma is delicious on its own or as part of an antipasto or
charcuterie platter with cheese, nuts, and fruit. Topping a hot pizza with
Prosciutto di Parma or adding it to pasta and sandwiches are easy ways to
add loads of flavor. Prosciutto di Parma pairs well with a fruity white wine
but is also classically paired with Lambrusco – a sparkling red wine from
the same region.
Prosciutto di Parma:
A Slice Above the Rest
Cleaning and Preparation
Before slicing, it is important to properly
prepare the leg of Prosciutto di Parma.
The first step is to remove it from cryovac packaging.
Next, wipe away any grease from the leg. Identify
any areas that may have oxidized and check for
pockets of rancid fat (this does not mean the whole
leg is tainted – only the immediate surrounding area)
and trim them away.
Be careful to cut away only the skin of the area you
plan to slice, making sure not to trim away too much
of the fat so as not to impact the flavor or your
bottom line!
Prosciutto di Parma is meant to be served with a ring
of fat around each slice, so plan on leaving a layer of
about 1-1 ½ inch thickness. If customers prefer less
fat, try to leave at least a ½ inch ring of fat - this lends
essential flavor and helps to keep slices fresh.
Slicing and Wrapping
Always slice Prosciutto di Parma to order, never in
A boneless Prosciutto di Parma can be stored in its
vacuum pack up to 6 months, refrigerated at 40˚F
to 45˚F.
Once the vacuum seal is broken and slicing
begins, the ham can be held under refrigeration up
to 40 days. Freezing is not recommended.
After slicing, immediately cover the cut surface of
the ham with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
When returning the Prosciutto di Parma to the deli
case, always make sure to put it back in the right
place. If you are serving Prosciutto of multiple ages,
it is important to be aware of what you are slicing.
Pre-Sliced Product
If you carry packaged pre-sliced product you can direct customers to Prosciutto di Parma by telling them
to look for the gold Parma crown located on a black
triangle in the upper left corner of the package.
Slicing Prosciutto di Parma
Unless directly specified, PDP should be sliced
paper thin – no more than 1/16th of an inch. Ideally,
it should be translucent when held up to light.
Thicker slices of ¼ inch are used when a recipe calls
for diced or julienned pieces and the small end of
the ham is ideal for this purpose. In fact, this small
end of the leg is great for use in prepared foods or
can be wrapped and sold for soups and risottos.
Train employees to manage inventory in your deli
case to reduce loss and customer disappointment.
Remove only one leg at a time and return it to the
same location to avoid confusion with different ages
of Prosciutto di Parma or with other prosciuttos.
Slicing should start from the
bottom, or widest part of the
ham, after the leg has been
cleaned and prepared.
If your leg of Parma Ham is too
wide for your slicer, you may
either cut the entire boneless
leg in half vertically (1) and
slice from the bottom, or begin
slicing from the side opposite
where the leg is tied (2) until it
is narrow enough to slice from
the bottom (3).
View our training videos and learn more at
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