Parma ham prosciutto di Parma is a type of Italian raw, salted and dried ham, produced in Parma region. It is one of the most famous varieties of cured hams.
The original Parma ham has been granted the Protected Designation of Origin-label, the "PDO", given to regional foods by the European Union in order to protect them from any usurpation or imitation.
In order to be called "Parma ham", the cured ham must meet the high standards set for this special product.
The manufacturing process of the Parma ham includes rubbing the fresh ham with salt to give it a 4,6 to 5 % salt content. The salted ham then goes trough a long maturing process during which it is rested and hung in different storing rooms with controlled temperature and humidity conditions.
After a 100-day initial maturing of the ham, the primary maturing process is started, lasting for 8 to 10 months.
Parma ham is best served raw, sliced in paper-thin slices. It may be served as an appetizer, accompanied with melon or fresh figs.