At Eataly, we love prosciutto. Each impossibly thin slice of cured pork packs an abundance of sweet, salty, and satisfying flavor. After visiting different prosciuttifici in Italy, our buyers chose to offer Prosciutto Toscano DOP in our markets.
WHAT IS PROSCIUTTO?
In Italian, prosciutto simply translates to “ham.” In Italy, villagers originally began to dry-age pork legs to extend their meat supply during the long winters. Over the centuries, the tradition of making prosciutto was perfected.
Today, the art is celebrated across Italy and the world. Prosciutto-producing techniques vary based on the region, producer, and consortium (refresh your Italian certification expertise here). Generally, the meat is cut to size, seasoned by hand (often according to a secret family recipe), and left to dry-age at a controlled temperature for up to several years.
The result is a flavorful, delicately sweet and salty product that is typically served uncooked, or “crudo,” with unsalted bread. Our chefs at Eataly love to serve prosciutto on its own or with juicy pears and creamy cheese, like mozzarella or pecorino. Perfect for spring, these pairings are simple and refreshing.
WHY PROSCIUTTO TOSCANO DOP?
Like all “Italian foods,” all prosciutto does not taste the same, thanks to regional biodiversity and culinary customs. The combination of fresh air from the rolling hills and the Tyrrhenian Sea blends into a microclimate that makes Toscana the perfect place to age prosciutto.
Earthy and intense, Tuscan prosciutto is traditionally cured not just with salt but with local spices, including juniper, rosemary, and black pepper. It is recognizable by its typical arch shape, deep-red meat with white streaks, and, of course, consortium brand.
To be considered Prosciutto Toscano DOP, which stands for Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (protected designation of origin), every step in the production is regulated. From humanely raising the Tuscan-bred pigs to cutting and seasoning the legs by hand to curing in special rooms with controlled temperature and humidity for at least 12 months, the process is deeply rooted in traditions that can be traced back to the House of Medici.
From March 20 to 26, we are celebrating Prosciutto Toscano DOP with special dishes, market offers (free mozzarella, anyone?), and tastings and event. Join us for Prosciutto Week at Eataly NYC Flatiron, NYC Downtown, Chicago, and Boston!