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A whole prosciutto


Terrasanct
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A local discount food store here has whole prosciutto in their deli case right now. I didn't read the label very closely, but it was about $45 for the whole thing, under $3.00 a pound. I'm not sure what I'd DO with a whole one, but this is a really good price. Would you get it? And what would you do with it?

I'm a sucker for buying way too much of something and having to find things to do with it. This same store had nice vine-ripened tomatoes for about 50 cents a pound last month, and I'm not sure how many I bought...but I made a lot of stuff. I just haven't really bought prosciutto before so I'm not even sure what to do with it.

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I would ask for a taste. And if it tasted even half-way good, I would take that $3/pound proscuitto under my arm, cackling the whole way out of the store like Snidley Whiplash.

Proscuitto-wrapped asparagus, proscuitto in frittata, proscuitto pizzas, proscuitto and wine. I can blow through a proscuitto. No worries.

EDIT -- Even if they wouldn't give me a taste. I'd buy it anyway. $45 for a whole ham? That's almost 90% off what I pay for made-in-Parma proscuitto at the local deli.

Edited by ScoopKW (log)

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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It's not the kind of place I can get a taste of it, but I'll have to go check it out again. I bought some good parmigiano reggiano there a while ago. I never know what I'll find, that's what makes the store so much fun. There aren't too many places in Billings, Montana to get proscuitto.

Does it freeze well? Or keep for a really long time?

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Does it freeze well? Or keep for a really long time?

I imagine if you can keep it cool and dry it'll keep for quite a while in the open, I mean it's not as if it wasn't hanging up for months anyway right?

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Actually, no. It doesn't need to be refrigerated.

In Italy and Spain, they generally keep the hams they're slicing under glass. They shave away the top 1/32" and then work from there.

Just buy the thing, and hope it hasn't been mistreated. Keep in mind, a Parma ham will take damned near anything you dish out. Even if it's one of the made-in-America hams from places like Applegate Farms, that's still a steal.

I wouldn't have posted this question -- I would have posted a "look what I scored at the grocery store today" thread. (Unless it was somehow spoiled/inedible. Then I'd keep mum, but still not be too upset. We're talking about two twenties and a fiver. I've done far dumber things with that amount of money.)

EDIT -- You're in MONTANA. Ambient temperature and humidity is FINE for that ham. When does that store open? Be there.

Edited by ScoopKW (log)

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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You should probably figure out a way to slice it if you're buying a whole ham. Nothing like suffering from thick, improperly sliced ham for an entire year because you don't own a meat slicer/slicing knife.

A year? My wife and I can plow through one in a month if properly motivated. Like buying one for pennies on the dollar at a discount grocery store. And with the money saved, buy a decent carving knife. I'm of the mind that a slicer is not the right tool for the job. There's a lot of down, straight and up carving. A slicer is only going to get you 50% of the way through the ham, then you'll need that knife anyway.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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At $45, it might be worth buying, even to just satisfy your curiosity, although that price seems almost alarmingly low. The people we bought prosciutto from when we were in Parma recommended keeping it at 18C (64F), if I remember correctly (it's been a while). Incidentally, we bought bought a small commercial slicer, too; there are people who can hand slice beautifully (they have a competition for this at the annual Langhirano prosciutto festival), but we never acquired the skill, despite our best efforts and sharpest knives.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I'd also be interested to know if you bought the ham, and what it turned out like. Personally, I'd be deeply, deeply suspicious. $45 seems too good to be true; and we all know about things that seem too good to be true...

I've come across more than my fair share of "too good to be true" deals that were just screamin' good deals -- usually involving airline tickets or antiques at thrift stores.

Could be the store doesn't get any call for proscuitto, and they'd rather essentially give it away than throw it in the bin. Maybe Terrasanct is the only one in the store who knows what he's got his hands on, and the rest just think it's "ham" and that $3/pound is too damned much for "ham."

Could be that it's spoiled and not worth a penny. Or that it's "proscuitto" in name only. The word isn't protected like Champagne and bourbon. (I'm sure it probably is protected in Italy, but nobody's paying attention outside their borders.)

I'm betting it's probably a made-in-the-US proscuitto-like product that's still worth $15 per pound all day long. Could be the real deal, too. And then it's a screamin' deal.

Who knows? There are no pictures in this thread to help out.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Not that it matters, but I'm a she...well it matters to my husband I suppose.

I went back today and looked at it. I've had a policy not to buy meat from this store, even though their produce is great. Took a better look at the package. It said prosciutto from Parma, ingredients, pork and salt. And the expiration date...10 months ago. Even for something preserved, that seems a bit long. I could be wrong but it scares me. Opinions? I could return it if it's bad, but not if it kills me first.

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I'd buy that in a heartbeat, then. But a grocery store here would be fined/cited/closed down for selling meat that far past it's sellby date.

EDIT - Most of these hams are aged for six months to two years. Just consider it "extra aged." Yup, I'd be cackling the whole way out the store like Snidley Whiplash if I found that.

Edited by ScoopKW (log)

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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You'd buy it when the sell by date was last December?

Yes, and cackle the whole way out the store. In fact, I'd buy both of them, and ask them if they had any more in the back at that price.

Remember, these things basically hang out in the open for months on end. No preservatives other than salt.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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You'd buy it when the sell by date was last December?

Different countries have different laws, and I don't know what the laws are there. But in Australia the maximum permissible sell-by date is two years from manufacture, even if the food itself may last longer than that. So even products that have an essentially unlimited lifespan (such as bicab soda, citric acid, etc) are stuck with a 2 year sell by. It doesn't mean they won't last longer.

(and I agree about the slicer. Nothing worse than chewing through a poorly cut chunk of hacked up prosciutto)

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At those prices, buy a kick-butt carving knife and learn how to slice a ham. Think of it as a practice proscuitto.

I'm telling you -- if they had 10 of them the first day I was in the store, that's how many I'd be unloading from my trunk that evening. There wouldn't be so much as hesitation. And my wife would be dancing a jig when I got home.

"Break out the asparagus! Break out the frittata pan!"

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I guess it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. Strangely, as much of a foodie as I am, I've never done a lot with cured meats.

Dignan, it's called Mr. Thrifty, a local store like Grocery Outlet. Some past-dated stuff, things that didn't sell at other stores, lots of fresh produce. I mostly just get the produce, since I don't usually eat processed foods, and I haven't really trusted their meat (fish from China? No thanks.)

I have to say I love the store, though. Different things in there every time I go in, and the prices are really low.

I just noticed you live in Sundance, that's pretty country there. We went to Devil's Tower a few years ago.

Edited by Terrasanct (log)
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