Prosciutto di Parma

story28
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Prosciutto di Parma

Post by story28 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 05:11

Hi everyone. I have been reading Meat Science and Applications by Y.H. Hui. I stumbled on something I thought interesting and curious. It is an overview on the process of making prosciutto di parma.

On pg. 404:

"The Parma ham comes from one year old pigs weighing roughly 180 kg, raised in the northern Italian region around Parma. The pigs must be fed exclusively on corn, oats, and rinds from Parmesan cheese.

After slaughter, the carcasses are deep frozen for 24 hours and are pared of outer fat into a drumstick shape, salted, seasoned, and frozen for 8 days. On the 9th day they come out to the kneading bench for the first of 30 to 40 massages to squeeze out the juice and tenderize the meat. They are salted again, put in a deep freeze for 18 days, hauled out into fresh air for a day or two, then have a 30 day chill at exactly the freezing point, and spend 3 months in the drying chamber. Then, they are scrubbed with warm water, sandpapered to an attractive finish, and put into ventilated storage until time to sell. The total curing time lasts from 10 to 15 months."

The book references AH Varnam, JP Sutherland. Meat and Meat Products. New York: Chapman & Hall, 1995. pp167-412. Unfortunately, I don't have this book to cross reference.

I have never heard/read of a process like this before, especially for something like an authentic Parma ham.

I wonder why they are so... cold toward their hams.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Nov 24, 2011 08:28

Again it becomes necessary to warn a member about conduct. Lately we`ve had an antagonist picking apart anything and everything possible to disturb the established temperament of camaraderie for which this forum is becoming well known. I`ve seen, all to well, how this type of invidious and cynical criticism, displayed by merely a few truculent persons dissatisfied with their own efforts, can modify the progressive tone of an entire forum. I am letting it be known here and now, as a moderator of this forum, I will not allow the remarks of a few individuals to compromise the integrity of Wedliny Domowe. I, as well as many others, have worked hard to build and preserve the nobility and reputation of our little Wedliny Domowe (English Speaking) Site, and I`ll be damned if I`ll stand by and let anyone weaken its credibility. If your aim is to criticize others while contributing nothing, we invite you to find another site.

Our member Story28, has clearly posted an intelligent and interesting statement of facts and I defend him in doing so. The validity of his credibility had been ridiculed to the point where he had to defend himself saying, "This is a forum for friendship and learning. I'm only trying to expand my knowledge and share my interest with others." I am therefore removing any offensive remarks in this post by irresponsible persons violating the rules of Wedliny Domowe.
Posted by Chuckwagon: 11/24/11
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Devo » Sat Nov 26, 2011 13:22

Well done Chuckwagon. I like to see when people run a tight ship, good for you and keep up the good work you do around here.
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Post by DLFL » Sun Nov 27, 2011 03:35

Thank you Chuckwagon!
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Post by Dave Zac » Sun Nov 27, 2011 14:24

Thank you CW...now back to the topic.

I am going to attempt a Parma style ham from one of my smaller deer. I had not considered the deep freeze to combat trichinosis however this post is a reminder to me that perhaps I should?

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Post by ssorllih » Sun Dec 04, 2011 13:53

SausageBoy wrote:Curing deep frozen hams?


Are you kidding me????


:shock:
No joke! Freezing to minus twenty F distroys parasites of all sorts in meat and in fish.
http://seafood.ucdavis.edu/pubs/nematodes.htm
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Post by ssorllih » Sun Dec 04, 2011 19:29

Do you have a link to "elsewhere"?
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Post by story28 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 16:15

It seems as though this thread is destined to create conflict. Much like the ring of power in LOTR. :lol:

I don't think that anyone on this forum advocates the practice in discussion over the well understood traditional method.

There are people who like to investigate and learn things, even if they don't particularly agree with them. Sometimes, I think people react to something new or odd by condemning it or labeling it ridiculous in order to feel more comfortable with their own smarts. Others take a deep look at things credible AND erroneous to deepen their understanding.
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Post by story28 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 17:55

SausageBoy wrote:
story28 wrote:Sometimes, I think people react to something new or odd by condemning it or labeling it ridiculous in order to feel more comfortable with their own smarts

Actually, I welcome all knew knowledge, but when something is totally illogical, I'm not going to lie to myself or others.

It's my opinion, based on my experince and studies, that the information is incorrect.


Until someone can explain how it's possible to cure frozen meat, I'm sticking to my guns.


SausageBoy
I wasn't referring to you specifically before. Don't take offense. There have been other members who have become... angry, disagreeable, or... just a pain in the arse. It happens when off the wall topics come up.
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Post by DLFL » Mon Dec 05, 2011 19:33

I know very little compared to the vast majority here, but think about this. We could learn why this could work and what the results could be. For sure our knowledge will encompass more than before this discussion.

On the surface it does seem reasonable that the freezing of a ham would slow down the curing by one heck of a time difference. But salt does inhibit the ability for things to freeze solid, thus requiring a lower temperature for solid freezing. If the ham does not freeze solid curing should be possible.

If the ham does freeze solid this should cause a couple things after the ham is thawed out. As we have learned the freezing of cells will rupture them. Shouldn't this result in an easier access for the penetration of dry cure and the loss of moisture and protein from the cells. Each addition of more salt would prevent the ham from becoming solid in the freezer for a longer time period and maybe prevent it all together.

Could this result in a more even distribution of protein and cure within the ham? Could a shorter drying time result? How would the texture be affected?

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Post by ssorllih » Mon Dec 05, 2011 19:51

In the creation of uncooked cured pork products freezing could be a step in the total process. Freezing of course slows all biological processes and it has been shown that prolonged freezing at very low temperatures kill parasites. If the producers of these products found in times long passed that they could eliminate the danger of disease by deep prolonged freezing then perhaps that is where the practice started. I should think the high energy irradiation would serve the same purpose.
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Post by ssorllih » Mon Dec 05, 2011 21:17

I have other things that I should be doing so I am just wasting time on the computer collecting links to parma Ham.
http://www.discovertheorigin.co.uk/parma-ham/
http://www.festivaldelprosciuttodiparma ... fault.aspx
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-parma-ham.htm
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... dxcgtPwq2Q
In the last document pay special attention to the section "E" In it are the details of the curing and handling steps.
This document is the most detailed and definitive of any hat I have found. I think that you could learn the genealogy of the pig for several generations.
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Post by story28 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 15:49

I think you both are totally on the right track. I think it's just the kind of questioning and learning we need around this forum and we all benefit and grow. Even if we learn something silly, at least we have to weigh it against our existing knowledge base and that is what keeps enthusiasts like us sharp and on our toes.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Dec 06, 2011 16:43

Until I found the official document that I posted I was hearing only opinion. The document details not only the method and conditions it also details the use of the term "Parma" in any reference to ham or the method used to produce it. It restricts the use of even the suggestion that a ham has been produced using the methods used to produce Parma Hams.
As a result if you want to make Parma ham you must move to Italy and meet the requirements set forth by the document.
You can use the methods to produce a dry cured ham and you may be able to come close in the result but as one post stated in another forum that sausageboy linked to me stated "I think that a good Tennessee dried country ham is just as good at a fraction of the cost". I have never tasted Parma ham and probably never will because it is out of my financial league.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Dec 06, 2011 17:35

Sven it is time to leave the past behind and move on to other things.
When we were in the working world and we screwed up, the boss would let us know about it and we corrected our behavior and went back to work.
When I was a kid my Dad would often explain the error of my ways with a strong slap on the back. I didn't leave home or cuss him for it I just accepted the correction and went on.
Your knowledge and opinions are as valid as anyone elses no matter how absurd they may seem to someone. We can't have a discussion if my opinion is rejected as trash because that inplies that my thinking is trash also. But we can have a discussion if you explain the flaws in my opinion and offer a better option without being scornful of my lack of understanding.
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