Traditional Italian charcuterie board
Italy is worldwide famous for its great cured meat production, to experience an authentic food tour of Italian gastronomy we want to guide you. You can easily travel to Italy without leaving your home in Hong Kong thanks to our wide selection of Italian salami and hams, known as salumi.
But if you're wondering what exactly are “salumi”, just think of them as Italian deli meats or Italian cold cuts. The word salumi literally means “salted meats”. Most Italian salumi are made from pork and this huge category can be divided into salumi, salami, and salsicca.
True salumi are cured meats made from a whole cut of an animal, usually a shoulder or thigh. The most famous of these Italian cold cuts is prosciutto. Salami are a specific type of salumi that are made with finely ground meat and then air dried, smoked or salted and left to age. Then, salsiccia, or sausage, is ground and encased. It is either raw or cooked slightly before serving. Culatello is an uncooked and cured sausage product, harnessed in a wide-mesh net of twine, obtained from the thighs of pigs. The aroma is intense and characteristic, and the taste is sweet and delicate.
Prosciutto di Parma, the king of Italian salumi
The Italian ham par excellence is the Prosciutto crudo. Our prosciutto crudo di Parma is made by the San Giacomo “Prosciuttificio” or ham factory which is located on the slopes of the Parma hills. Since the early days of the company, neither preservatives nor additives have been used in the preparation of the hams and the result is a completely natural product, full of flavor. The 2 main ingredients of the hams are, in fact, local pork thigh meat and salt.
The special characteristic of this geographical area is the ideal climatic conditions that allow for the natural curing of the ham, giving it that unmistakable sweetness and saltiness typical of “crudo di Parma”. Very little fat, large quantities of mineral salts, vitamins and easily digestible proteins, make Parma Ham ideal for everyone to enjoy.
San Giacomo selects the pig thighs used for its hams based on long-standing relationships with local producers, strictly from the province of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna area. A distinguishing characteristic of San Giacomo hams is the double curing process: the hams are thinly covered with lard a total of 2 times, first at the beginning of the curing process and again after about 10 months. San Giacomo is one of the few producers to still use this technique, essential for ensuring the quality and success of the final product.
San Giacomo offers, exclusively for Longino & Cardenal, Parma PDO ham aged for 20 months, the very best combination of delicacy, melt-in-the-mouth quality and saltiness. The end result is a ham of unmistakable quality with a characteristic pear shape and the PDO certification meaning protected designation of origin.
What's the origin of cured meats in Italy?
Charcuterie was originally used as a way to preserve meat before the invention of refrigeration. Pork would be transformed into ham and sausages, ready for storing. Today, Italian cold cuts are still made from pork and include salami, prosciutto, salsiccia, pancetta, and many more.
The processing and curing styles tend to be heavily influenced by geographical region and specific traditions. Often served on a wooden board, modern charcuterie has become famous because of the love for the typical antipasto made of cured meats, cheeses and pickled products.