Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO is a raw and cured ham obtained through the processing of fresh pig legs from Italian Large White, Landrace and Duroc breeds, pure or crossbred.
The production area of the Prosciutto Veneto Berico- Euganeo PDO is within the territory of 15 municipal areas on the southern border of the Verona, Vicenza and Padua Provinces, in the Veneto region. The pigs used for production must be born, raised and slaughtered in the following regions: Veneto, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio and Umbria.
The pig is tattooed within 40 days of its birth and then undergoes a specific feeding programme. It is thanks to this diet that the meat acquires its particular organoleptic and morphological characteristics. The legs are carefully selected and transferred to refrigerated cells for 24 hours, in order to facilitate trimming. The legs are then massaged before being covered with sea salt, where they remain for a variable period time depending on the piece of meat. The skill of the salter determines when the leg should be removed; any time between 10-15 days. The ham is lightly pressed and conserved in a controlled environment for between 75-100 days, in order to allow drying and the penetration of the salt. At the end of this stage, the ham is washed, trimmed and dried naturally before being covered with a mixture of cereal flour and pork fat. The curing period is 12 months, which can be prolonged to 18/24 months to bring out the full flavour and fragrance of the ham.
Appearance and Flavour
Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO has a naturally semi-pressed shape and is without the trotter. Its weight at the end of the curing process varies from 8-11 kg; this can drop to 7 kg for hams that will be deboned. The meat is pink in colour, interspersed with very faint marbling, with pure white fatty parts; it is tender and fragrant, with a delicate sweet aroma.
The origins of Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO date back to the Celtic custom of preserving meat with salt, which was successively refined by the Romans. In fact, pig rearing has always characterised venetian agriculture. After the Unification of Italy, venetian ham evolved into a less salty raw product in order to compete with the French. The results can be found in the many certificates of the businesses that are members of the Consortium, such as that signed by Quintino Sella at the Milan National Exposition in 1881.
Whole Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO should be kept in a cool dry place. The deboned and packaged product must be kept in the fridge at a temperature between 0°C and 10°C. Thanks to its delicate, sweet and fragrant aroma, as well as its low salt, fat and protein content, Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO is the perfect ingredient for the preparation of a wide range of dishes. It can be served on its own as an appetiser or used to prepare dishes such as “farm prosciutto soup”, “risotto with prosciutto”, “Radicchio di Treviso baked with prosciutto”.
The product is marketed as Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO. It is sold vacuum-packed whole, boned or deboned; in pieces or sliced; and must always display the Lion of Saint Mark logo, symbol of the product’s PDO certification.
The distinguishing and well-known aromatic traits of Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO are given to the alternation of the seasons and the dry and humid climate.