Rose's Shop Watch - September: the king of Parma hams
Culatello di Parma
It is the king of Parma hams
Culatello is the most prized cured ham coming from Parma. Although all the supermarkets are upping their game and offering Parma hams aged 14 months, 20 months, 24 months and even 30 months, it is only M&S who have come along and launched the king of them all: culatello. It has a soft tender melting delicate flavour, which is just superior to any other Parma ham. Ask any Italian.
It is made from the prized large muscle in the rear leg of the pig, which is then seasoned, lightly salted and stuffed into a pigs bladder which gives it its pear shape. It is then hung for 12 months to cure. This curing process is helped by the humidity of the mists of the region, which come from the river Po.
It takes a whole ham to make a culatello, much of which is discarded, which is why it is so expensive. It is an artisan craft - only 30.000 hams are produced each year, as opposed to 10 million for Parma ham.
I think it deserves to be eaten and enjoyed on its own - just the soft folds of ham laid out on a plate - and if you do this, the pack will serve two. If you wish to make it go further for a dinner party then make sure you find the best, ripest, rock melon; or serve it with some grilled peaches which should still be in season; or with burrata. But whatever you do, this ham deserves to be savoured.
M&S Culatello di Parma
Marks & Spencer Customer Services:
Tel.: 0333 014 8555
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