Parma ham - gourmet delicacy
Refined dishes from different cuisines of the world will appeal not only to gourmets, but to all those who just love to enjoy the gastronomic pleasure of eating. And the pleasant Parma ham will leave absolutely pleasant impressions. Find out what kind of delicacy it is, and how it can be used.
What it is?
What is Parma ham? This is an Italian delicacy, one of the varieties of prosciutto is dried jerked ham, which is made from pork ham, grated with salt and aged to the desired structure. Produced such a product in the province of Italy with the name Parma, in whose honor and received the official name of the ham.
Delicacy has special characteristics: a soft, sweetish and spicy taste, a pleasant, barely perceptible aroma of dried meat, thin fatty interlayers, a pale pink tint and a delicate texture that allows the ham to be cut into thin elastic layers.
The original ham produced in Parma is marked with a special distinctive sign: it is stamped with the image of a crown with five ends, which is a symbol of the Duchy of Parma. The delicacy is positioned as an appetizer and is often served with fruit (for example, melon), but can be part of gourmet dishes.
For your information! Another popular name is Prosciutto di Parma.
The history of the appearance of Parma ham is not exactly known, but the secrets of making meat dishes were known even before our era to the Greeks and Romans. But it was Parma ham that appeared in one of the villages of the province of Parma - Langirano. At the moment there is a large part, but the production is distributed in other regions of the central and northern parts of Italy.
Production is strictly regulated: in the 63rd year of the last century, a consortium was formed, designed to preserve the authenticity of the recipe and the image of a delicacy. Currently, more than 100 manufacturers have production permits, but all of them are located in the province.
Pigs of several breeds are used as raw materials (Duroc, Lendrans, White Large), and young, but reached ten months of age and weight in 150-160 kilograms (not castrated pigs and sows are not suitable).They are fed with chestnuts and whey, carefully selected so that the taste of the meat is what it should be.
The technology includes several stages:
- Pig selection, inspection, slaughter and cutting.
- Large chopped hams are cooled by placing in refrigeration for a day. The temperature is reduced to 0 degrees, which allows you to comply with hygienic standards and simplify pruning in the future.
- Trimming. Cut the outer layer with the skin and part of the fat layer, attached to the rounded characteristic for chicken legs shape.
- Salting. All hams are rubbed with salt and kept in the cold for a week. Next, the salt layer is removed and formed again, after which the billets are left for 16-18 days.
- Drying. Remains of salt are removed, and raw materials are hung in cool and regularly ventilated rooms. This takes about two months.
- Wash hams with warm water, dry for three more months.
- Almost finished ham is smeared with a mixture of pepper, bacon and salt, as well as seasonings.
- Drying continues for about three months.
- Next, the ham is checked and marked.
How to choose?
A real Parma ham is a delicacy that can not be bought anywhere.On the whole ham is stamped - the five-pointed crown and the name of the province. If you buy a cut, the mark is made on the packaging: a dark color on gold.
When buying, examine the packaging on which the place of production and the name of the farm, the age of the pig and the time of drying should be listed. The younger the animal, the more tender the ham. And the longer the delicacy faded, the more dense and elastic the texture is.
Important! Tasty Parma ham should be stored in a cool and dry room or in a refrigerator at maximum 15 degrees. Under these conditions, the shelf life reaches sixty days.
Is it possible to cook a delicacy yourself?
How to cook such an exquisite Italian delicacy as Parma ham, what is needed for this? In principle, you can get something similar to the original, but the taste, of course, will be somewhat different. And yet try to reproduce cooking at home is worth it, and this is what is included in the list of ingredients:
- pork ham weighing about 5 kilograms;
- 15 kilograms of salt;
- optional spices;
- wooden box the size of a pork leg.
- Thoroughly wash the leg of gammon, cut off the skin and excess fat.
- At the bottom of the box, put a thick layer of salt on it, lay a ham on it and cover it abundantly on top and sides so that the entire surface is covered. Cover the blank with a board or box lid, press down with a press (for example, a brick).
- Leave the ham for five to seven days.
- Next, you need to remove the remains of salt with a brush and hang the ham in a dark, well-ventilated and cool enough place. Drying lasts at least three months, but you can extend it.
Tip! Optionally, you can supplement such a recipe with spices, brushing them with the gammon of two weeks before the end of the curing.
How to use?
You can cook a lot of dishes from Parma ham, and here are some of them:
- Salad with rucola, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and Parma ham. Handle the wash, spread on a plate, you can immediately sprinkle cedar nuts on request. Next, cut the mozzarella is not very thin circles and place on the greens. Then cut the layers of ham and beautifully lay out, and on top place the half-cut cherry tomatoes. Salad with olive oil.
- Delicious warm salad will turn out with poached egg. In addition to eggs, you will need a salad, Parma ham, bread toasts, balsamic vinegar, sea or regular table salt, butter (preferably olive oil) and ground pepper. Boil water in a bowl and break an egg into it, boil over medium heat for about three minutes until a protein bag forms. In a dry skillet, fry the ham first, then the toast. Put lettuce leaves on a plate, then ham, then poached egg. Sprinkle everything with balsamic vinegar and butter, put on a toast in a circle, which can be greased with soft goat cheese.
- You can make Italian pasta. Boil “al dente” spaghetti in salted water, put it on a plate, rub parmesan on top, lay parmesan ham sliced in layers. You can also optionally add olives and cherry.
- Parma ham makes excellent rolls: wrap any ingredients in layers: cheese, vegetables, chicken, fruits. Next, you can cook the rolls in the oven or in a skillet with oil, fixing them with toothpicks.
If you manage to buy or make Parma ham yourself, enjoy its taste and create culinary masterpieces with such a delicacy!
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