We are talking about two excellent products of the art of pork butchery, renowned and very good and both produced in the Parma area.
At first glance they may seem similar, but just taste them to realize that they are not: find out what they stand out for
Raw ham and Culatello: affinities and differences.
Well, both culatello and Parma ham are two PDOs (Protected Designation of Origin) originating in the Parma area and produced with the meat of the same pigs, which must respect some characteristics: they are Italian national heavy adult pigs born and raised only in some regions of central-northern Italy.
Nevertheless, there is more than one difference between prosciutto and culatello, do you know them all?
DOP: neighboring areas, but not the same
Although they are typical products of the Parma area, the culatello is exclusive to the Bassa (we are talking about Zibello, which is the country par excellence of the culatello, Busseto, Polesine, Soragna, Roccabianca, San Secondo, Sissa and Colorno) and is prepared between November and February . In this area, the one closest to the Po, winters are particularly cold and humid, while summers are hot and sunny.
Parma ham, on the other hand, is a product of the hills (the area between the Via Emilia and the beginning of the Apennines, between the Enza river and the Stirone stream).
Here the climate reaches a perfect balance of temperature, humidity and ventilation that affect the yeasts and molds that give the unmistakable flavor to the raw.
Preparation of Culatello.
If the whole thigh is used for raw ham, from which only the rind and part of the fat is removed, for culatello the most precious and tender part is used, that is the buttock. The rind, fat, bones and the so-called "fiocchetto" are then removed.
The main difference between prosciutto and culatello probably lies in the list of ingredients.
If only sea salt is used for Parma ham, for culatello a mix of salt, garlic, pepper and in some cases, even dry white wine, sodium and potassium nitrate is used, but not in the one selected by us that it has only salt and pepper as ingredients and therefore it is a totally natural product like raw ham.
Good things need time, seasoning.
Both the curing of the raw ham and that of the culatello must take place in the respective production area.
For the culatello it takes no less than ten months, in which the salami is exposed to light and natural humidity. The ham, on the other hand, requires at least twelve months of curing in the so-called cellars, in specific cool and ventilated rooms, which maintain the natural conditions of humidity and temperature, thanks to opposite windows and possibly also the appropriate systems.
Shape, weight and type
We all know the shape of the raw ham: rounded and ending with the gambetto. Perhaps not everyone knows that it is a cured meat, but not a sausage: it is wrapped only by the rind. Culatello, on the other hand, is a pear-shaped sausage.
A big difference between prosciutto and culatello is the weight. If the first weighs no less than seven kilos (basically between eight and ten kilos), the second - which has no bone - can weigh between three and five kilos to be disciplined.
Difference between prosciutto and culatello on the palate
If the raw ham has a strong taste, the taste of the culatello is more delicate.
This means that in the recipes you must be careful not to use ingredients that could cover the culatello, for example a sandwich prepared with white bread is better than a rustic focaccia, with an intense flavor that will go better with raw.
Do you want to discover the unique flavor of these products?
Eligere Food has selected and chosen for you the culatello di Zibello DOP from Salumificio Dallatana and the Raw Ham from Salumificio Ruliano. Discover the products in our online pantry and receive your order comfortably at home.