Prosciutto di monte


Text and Photo courtesy of Regione Campania

In all the internal areas of the region, in particular in the Matese, Sannio, Irpinia and Bussento, a ham called “di Monte” is produced.

It is obtained from the excellent Large White or Landrace pig races and the “Casertano”, fed with natural forage like corn, bran, potatoes, acorns, chestnuts and other vegetables.

The butchering is performed between November and February or when the temperature reaches 10C. The raw ham is obtained from the rear leg of the pig. The meat is salted, pressed and spiced.

The ham is dried in the attics of the houses that are fresh and ventilated and that are covered with boards, to facilitate the natural circulation of the air and obtain the typical organoleptic characteristics of the product.

It is kept here until it is completely dried and then transferred to cellars.

During the whole drying phase the hams are covered with sacs made of thin cloth that allow the passage of air but not that of insects.

Sometimes, just for a short time, a small quantity of smoke from the chimneys used to warm the living quarters, is allowed in the area and it helps improve the preserving qualities of the product and further characterize its taste.