How does our favorite American prosciutto stack up against imported, Italian offerings?
How We Tested
Our favorite supermarket prosciutto is a standout among American cured hams, but how would it stack up against the Italian gold standards? Tasted alongside consortium-branded legs of Italian prosciutto di Parma and prosciutto di San Daniele, aged to their peak intensity at 24 months and hand-sliced at the deli, its flavor paled somewhat, seeming “less balanced” and “less complex.” We still like it as a supermarket pick, plus there’s an advantage to buying presliced prosciutto: You can purchase it well in advance—up to 120 days. That’s because the packages are sealed without oxygen, and thus keep much longer than prosciutto that’s sliced to order, which should be used within 24 hours. (Once a presliced package is opened, it, too, should be used quickly.) That said, when we have the opportunity, we’ll buy the Italian stuff—particularly prosciutto di Parma, the Ferrari of Italian cured hams, which, at $22.99 per pound, is still cheaper than our supermarket favorite. We guess there’s no denying the results of a couple thousand years of Italian prosciutto-making practice.