In this recipe we find three Tuscan products: from the delicate taste of Prosciutto Toscano PDO, to the piquant flavor of Pecorino Toscano PDO. The olive oil is the Toscano PGI.
Prosciutto Toscano PDO is a Tuscan raw cured ham obtained through the processing of fresh pig legs from Italian pigs belonging to the Large White and Landrace breeds.
Production Area: Prosciutto Toscano PDO is produced in Tuscany with pigs that are born, raised and butchered in Tuscany and in other central and northern Italian regions, namely Emilia-Romagna, Lombardia, Marche, Umbria and Lazio.
Appearance and Taste: Prosciutto Toscano PDO has a rounded shape, curved at the top and weighs roughly 18-20 lb. This ham has a delicate taste and a characteristic aroma, derived from the curing process and the typical local spices mixture used for it.
Origins: The tradition of curing pork meat in the Tuscan area dates back to the Etruscan age, but the production of Prosciutto Toscano PDO was regulated for the first time in the XV century, under the dominion of the House of Medici (political and royal dynasty from Florence), with the application of procedural guidelines that anticipated modern quality policies.
Production: The legs are trimmed with a curved blade, which leaves a fleshy exterior that does not protrude more than 8 cm/3,14 inch from the head of the femur at the end of the curing process. The trotter, the rind and the internal fat are removed with a V cut that enables the salt to better penetrate the meat. The legs are then dry salted with salt, pepper and natural herbs: the process must last long enough to ensure a good level of dehydration. This procedure is followed by greasing: the exposed area is covered with a mixture of pork fat, wheat or rice flour, salt, pepper and natural herbs. The curing process, from salting to being put on the market, must last at least 10 months for legs of ham with a final weight of 17–19 pounds and at least 12 months for hams with a weight of 19 pounds.
Gastronomy: Prosciutto Toscano PDO can be eaten alone or with unsalted Tuscan bread, since it has a characteristic aroma. It is also an ideal ingredient for the preparation of delicious dishes. Prosciutto Toscano PDO should be stored in a cool, dry and well-ventilated place and should be covered with cling film after cutting. Suggested Wine Pairings: Sangiovese.
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