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Behind the Scenes: How Prosciutto di Parma is Made | Serious Eats

Stashed in: Meat!, How It's Made

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Meat-massaging, horse bones, firebrands, and a whole lot more: Check out the slideshow to see how prosciutto di Parma gets made!

Did you say meat massaging? Is that anything like cat massaging?

cat massage gif

cat massage gif


TestingQuality control is paramount with any Denomination of Protected Origin product. But how do you test a ham without cutting the whole thing open?

By smell. Here, an inspector inserts a sharpened tool made bone. Why? Horse bones are porous in such a way that they pick up smells, but "lose" them within seconds. Thus, jab a ham, smell the bone, and you'll get a whiff of what that ham smells like inside, but only for a few moments. Then the smell is gone and the bone's ready to go again.

Inspectors test each ham at a few key points—near the bone, further away, and so on—smelling for any defects.

Not sure if this is an awesome job or a terrible job to have.

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