Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
msphoebe

Prosciutto from Domestic U.S. Suppliers

Recommended Posts

It's been a long while since I bought any prosciutto and had to pick some up yesterday for tonite's dinner. One supermarket had only domestic prosciutto, so I opted to look elsewhere.

At Costco, in the import meats/cheeses section, the only prosciutto I saw was Citterio brand. Having had Cittero's Rosmarino Ham (and loving it) I was pretty sure the prosciutto would be good. I was under the impression that it was imported.

Now I haven't yet tasted the prosciutto, but in researching prosciutto a bit on the internet, I discovered that Citterio is an American company producing Italian style dry cured meats. http://www.citteriousa.com/plates.html

This link discusses European Style deli meats and has some interesting information http://www.specialtyfood.com/do/news/ViewNewsArticle?id=1481

So my question is...do you always buy imported prosciutto, or are there American products that are just as good? Am I really missing a lot by not searching out the real deal?


Edited by msphoebe (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had the Citterio prosciutto from Costco. I thought the package was labeled "imported", but I guess it could be domestic. It's pretty decent for the price, but since it's pre-sliced and packaged there's a limit to just how good it can be. Comparing it to imported prosciutto sliced to order at the deli counter, it falls a bit short.

The prosciutto served at Michael Symon's Lolita in Cleveland comes from Iowa (maybe these folks?). Whoever produces it, it's absolutely superb. Dominic Cerino (also in Cleveland) serves really great domestic prosciutto at his restaurant. I thought that he gets his from Armandino Batali, but I don't see prosciutto offered on the salumicuredmeats site. Maybe he gets it from the same source as Symon....

My advice would be to find a really great deli or specialty grocer that stocks a variety of dry-cured hams. You can get imported and domestic prosciutto sliced to order. Soon we'll even be able to buy Jamón ibérico here. Try a bit of each and see what you think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do not buy the mass-produced Boar's Head and Applegate Farms stuff. Their prosciutto has a bizarre Pine-sol like taste! It may be a good value if you're going to cook with it as it is about half the price of imported Parma prosciutto ($10/lb vs $20/lb) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen a few delis here with whole, uncut Citterio prosciutto. I tried it once and thought it was fine but did not have a chance to do a side-by-side with imported products. At about 25% cheaper ($15/lb vs $20) than the ham from Parma I'd rather just buy imported.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No COSTCO here in Maine, but SAM's

They carry 12oz packages of pre-sliced , so called "Prosciutto". 'Abrams Brand', it's imported from Germany and it is more like a 'Westphalian Style Ham' , never the less quite good and reasonable at $ 6.50 or so for the 12oz.

Some time ago I inquired their (Abrams) US offices plus their German Plant, to get a more detailed reason why they call it Prosciutto.

The answer I got was that the American market would buy Prosciutto (more commonly known) but not Westphalian Ham, also in order to comply with US FDA import rules they must buy Danish raised and slaughtered pigs, but can cure in Germany, as German Swine products are not allowed for import into the US.

This also is another reason why no true original "Schwarzwaelder Schinken" (Black Forest Ham) is imported, not even under a 'Prosciutto' label, because Germany's Schwarzwaelder Schinken Consortium has a monopoly on the name.

Please note: There is no 'real' "Black Forest Ham" (or anything close to it) manufactured in the US. If you get so 'labeled' "Black Forest Ham" from US Manufacturers like Karl Ehmer, Boars Head, Schaller & Weber, Usinger, and others, even Koglins, none will ever taste, smell and look like the real McCoy.

Main reason:

Schwarzwaelder Schinken is smoked with Spruce Wood


Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you like prosciutto enough to eat it fairly often, I have a suggestion. I use an American "dry" ham, aka country ham, Smithfield ham, dry cured ham, etc, and just shave it very thin and eat it raw, as if it were prosciutto. It costs far less than real prosciutto, and tastes just about the same. It's cheap, but it's quality stuff, unlike fake domestic prosciutto cheapo. You need a ham that has very little smokieness, which I find describes most of them. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of months with a piece of parchment paper applied to the cut surfaces, and wrapped loosely in parchment paper overall.

In addition to using it for prosciutto, you can whack off chunks for southern-style ham steaks.

I make a ham salad/spread by simmering slices in water to draw off some of the salt and to hydrate it, then coarse grinding it, and combining it with homemade mayo, and celery and shallot brunoise. A little parsley, mustard, and ground black peppercorn, and it makes a spread that will knock you out. It has such a unique, complex flavor, people will demand to know what the secret ingredient is. But there isn't one; it's the ham itself.

The only thing I've never been able to do is cook one whole with satisfactory results. It either comes out horrifically salty, or horribly dry with a crumbly texture. When you simmer it to make the spread, it will get hard and crumbly, but grinding takes care of the texture, and the mayo takes care of the dryness.


Thomas, aka the Wired Gourmet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh they got ya. Some of Citterio's and others product is indeed IMPORTED from Canada! Just because it says imported its not from Italy. I really dont think any producer of Parma ham is going to sell it presliced in cryovac.

tracey

spent too many decades in the deli biz


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really dont think any producer of Parma ham is going to sell it presliced in cryovac.

They do in Italy. But I don't know if they export it that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well then....

still be carefull with term imported with other brands many are Canadian

but....Citterio is either US or Italy

http://www.citteriousa.com/meats.html


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only domestic brand that is comparable to Parma or San Daniele, in my opinion, is the Proscuitto Americano referenced before from the Midwest. He does a great job and it is different, but just as good as imported. All meats made to be exported to the US must be from FDA-approved slaughterhouses - the only ones are indeed the Danish ones. This means all the raw material for Italian proscuitto and Spanish Serrano is slaughtered in Denmark, Once again, our government is sure looking out for us. So what if millions of other people in the world eat meats slaughtered in their own countries...not good enough for us!

I know one brand of Parma that is shipped as full legs to the US and sliced here into presliced packs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I in no way consider myself and expert on proscuittos, however, I am partial to the Applegate line simply for their curing methods. Its okay, but not great. I have used it for a few years with no complaints. (wow, now that's a half-hearted, non-endorsement that will make you want to run out and buy a case!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only thing I've never been able to do is cook one whole with satisfactory results.  It either comes out horrifically salty, or horribly dry with a crumbly texture.  When you simmer it to make the spread, it will get hard and crumbly, but grinding takes care of the texture, and the mayo takes care of the dryness.

You're right about using an American country ham ... curious, though, have you tried soaking your ham in water? Alton Brown describes how to do this in this recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_15539,00.html

Works like a charm.


Line Cook and Food Geek, Seattle, WA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only domestic brand that is comparable to Parma or San Daniele, in my opinion, is the Proscuitto Americano referenced before from the Midwest. He does a great job and it is different, but just as good as imported.

Here's a link to La Quercia in Iowa, this is the maker of the "prosciutto Americano", which a lot of people swear is comparable to Italian produced prosciutto.


Patrick Sheerin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i went to a dairyland party and they had the prosciutto from iowa and it was as good or better than some italian prosciutto. try dairyland usa for info on buying it. enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the D.C. area try Turner Ham House in Fulks Run, Va., their one year old cured ham is comprable to San Danielle, a little salty and musty, its not serrano, but would be excellent for any kind of cooking application. And at $3 a pound a whole lot cheaper. A little out of the way though. ch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've seen a few delis here with whole, uncut Citterio prosciutto. I tried it once and thought it was fine but did not have a chance to do a side-by-side with imported products. At about 25% cheaper ($15/lb vs $20) than the ham from Parma I'd rather just buy imported.

It's pretty easy to find whole uncut Citterio & get it sliced to order at delis in this area. Here it's $10/lb vs the same $20/lb for San Daniele. The Citterio is good for the price, tho the San Daniele seems to me to have more richness & depth of flavor.

I don't think any imported prosciutto is quite the same over here, though, just as you can never get a Bel Paese that has the freshness & creaminess of the cheese you buy in Italy. (And maybe that's for another topic.) The prosciutto here doesn't seem to have quite the same glow to it, and it always seems a bit drier than I remember it being over there.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...