I’ve looked at a lot of deli meats lately and written them up – the quality and prices cover the full spectrum. Not surprisingly, I tend to prefer the more expensive meats, the low cost ones have a texture I find unpalatable. But that’s just me. The smaller manufacturers seemed to have not lost their way on how to make a great product, and you can pretty much pass on anything by Hormel, Sara Lee, or Wal Mart’s house brand.
Prosciutto is defined as a dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian and is distinguished from smoked ham, prosciutto affumicato. And I love it. And it’s “cousin” across the continent, Spain’s Jamon Serrrano.
Volpi Foods, in the “Hill” neighborhood (an area settled by Italian immigrants) of St. Louis, (factory pictures below) started in 1902 by a Milanese immigrant who had learned curing meats from relatives in Italy. The tradition has continued, and the family owned business now makes a variety of Italian meats that you can buy at your grocer or direct, online.
Prosciutto adds a smoky, salty flavor when incorporated in dishes, but it’s often served ‘as is’ as a starter; you may have seen it in restaurants offered as wrapped around a slice of melon.
Any way you choose to consume it, prosciutto is a delightful pork product, and I find Volpi’s version a really excellent choice. It has a buttery, melt in your mouth quality. Not sure of the full retail price, it was on sale at my local grocer for about $8 a pound, and that’s a bargain.
If you’re in St. Louis, visit the neighborhood called “the Hill,” where there are lots of great shops and restaurants serving old world classics.
Volpi Prosciutto Review