The raw material
Fresh thighs, red colored flesh, smooth and white fat. Thighs are selected from the best pig breeders from the Pianura Padana, where pigs, since ancient times, are bred with cereals and whey produced by the production of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
This is the first essential condition, in order to obtain of high quality hams.
Pure sea salt in small crystals, rigorously dosed by hand. Even if we try to do a homogeneous selection, each thigh is different from the other: only the hand and the expert eye of the person can find the differences among each ham, he knows to “measure” perfectly the suitable quantity to spread on each piece. Salt is the only extra ingredient of ham production.
For the other products we also use: rosemary, chili pepper, fennel, garlic and black pepper.
This process consists of to cover the lean part of the flesh with a paste called “sugna”, a paste made of fat, salt, rice flour and pepper. This paste prevents the external part from drying and permits the exchange of air and humidity between the environment and the ham. It also permits the maturation process.
This process consist of the resting of each thigh, left on wooden frames through the natural and slow ventilation of the cellar, the sensorial aspect of each thigh begins to change. The original Parma ham is also made by a constant and mild temperature in the cellar, the particular mildews and the uncommon yeasts.
The ageing process, in natural places, make the final product pleasant to the eye, an inebriating sense of smell and palatable taste. After twelve months, each ham that passes the controls is fired branded with the Ducal crown.