The month of May is here and we are back to our home in the French Riviera! After a full month of travel to Budapest, Athens and Krakow that lasted the month of April we thought that settling back into our home away from home for a break would be nice before we begin our final leg of this adventure. A friend that we met while here told us that the motto of the Côte d’Azur is ‘Slow in the morning. Not too fast in the Afternoon.’ and this is exactly how we’ve been treating our time here! It seems like forever ago we were in Italy enjoying all of the delicious foods, wines and scenery and I wanted to share an experience from our time in the Emilia Romagna region back in January.
Learning more about the curing process of prosciutto was one of things on my to-do list while in Italy. It’s a product that I very much enjoy on any charcuterie platter and Parma is the king of production of this fine meat. As I was research various farms and facilities to visit I came across Rosa dell’Angelo, a company focused on bringing back ancient animals and sustainable farming practices. As American’s turn their focus back to sustainable farming practices, so have our friends in Europe.
Rosa dell’Angelo used to be a part of the Prosciutto di Parma group but have since left to go back to the breeding of the ancient black pigs which nearly became extinct at one point. Their pigs are free to roam feeding on fresh corn, oats and barley. The result is a superior quality of ham, so tender that it practically melts in your mouth!
We paid a visit to their Traversetolo production facility and Prosciutto Bar to learn more about the curing process and visit their amazing aging cellar to see where the products come from. Thankfully all of the legs that I saw were already well into their curing process because I’m not sure that I could have handled much more than that! But imagine a room filled with thousands of ham legs waiting for their time to be enjoyed. It was pretty amazing! From the first salting of the pork to when it is finally ready to be eaten takes around 400 days, but it can also take up to 3 years for different varieties! They also pepper the outside of their legs for an added flavor.
Fun fact: Did you know that they use a horse bone to check the quality of the ham? The inspector will insert the bone into various parts of the leg to check for scents of spoilage or flaws. The horse bone is used because it will absorb and release scents quickly.
After our tour of the production facility we enjoyed a selection of their amazing cured meats served with a tasting of the best minestrone soup that I have ever tasted. Their Prosciutto Bar serves and sells products that come from other local producers of sustainable products that are in the area. My favorite cut was obviously the Black Pig Prosciutto but the Culatello was lovely as well! While we weren’t able to take home a leg of our own we did leave the shop with a small aged sausage stick to enjoy during our time in Italy.
Thankfully I was able to check another box off on my foodie bucket list with the help of Rosa dell’Angelo. If you’re ever in the Parma area on vacation be sure to check out their Prosciutto Bar and if you’re up for an adventure they also offer tours of their farm int he country!
Special thanks to Rosa dell’Angelo for the tour and tasting!