PDO Tuscan Ham: price, nutritional values and characteristics

January 27, 2015

PDO Tuscan Ham (Prosciutto toscano DOP) is an uncooked ham that has been produced for hundreds of years throughout the whole region, were the slicing and packaging process also take place. The raw material, however, is made up of pigs born, reared, fattened and slaughtered not only in Tuscany but also in five other regions of central and northern Italy, including Lombardy.

Characterized by its distinctive rounded shape and arched at the top, the PDO Tuscan Ham undergoes an aging process of about 12/16 months, after which the pulp takes on a color ranging from bright red to light red, with a low amount of fat, which is white with slight pinkish veins. Typical Tuscan maquis’ products, such as sea salt, black pepper, garlic and juniper berries, are all added to the ham, giving it an intense aroma and a spicy flavor, enhanced by its particular firm but not excessive taste. The ham is soft to the touch, even though it maintains a certain compactness. The price of PDO Tuscan Ham varies depending on its age: it usually costs between 12 and 15 euro per kg, but the 16-months-seasoned ones may even cost 18 euro per kg.

PDO Tuscan Ham goes perfectly with the Tuscan "sciocco" bread (ie bland) and a glass of Chianti. Alternatively, you can eat it alone or accompanying it with fruits like melon, figs, pineapple and kiwi, or even with vegetables and seasonal salads. It can also add a special flavor to preparations such as soups and pasta dishes. Its nutritional values, per 100 g of product, are of 398 kcal, 23.6 g proteins, 0.6 g carbohydrates and 1524 mg of sodium. Starch, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium are also present, in various amounts.

Prosciutto Toscano earned the EU mark of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in 1996. In 2008, the Consortium has also obtained a ministerial recognition, therefore gaining more authority to protect and enhance the product, with the power to act overall production chain in order to counter abuses, acts of piracy and counterfeiting.

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