The art of Prociutti di Parma
I am a firm believer that passion drives great results, no matter what your aim is. I guess this is part of why I decided to change my line of work, given the amazing opportunity to take some time out and re think. Earlier this fall I had an invite to a Parma ham event. The Consortium of Parma Ham had selected Terroni of Clerkenwell as a winner as the Parma Ham Specialists 2013. This was of course a great opportunity to celebrate and I got an invite from The Dialogue Agency. The idea of plenty of Parma ham and prosecco in an Italian deli sounded just delicious.
Parma ham comes only from one of ten northern or central regions in Italy and only three breeds of pigs can be used, Large White, Landrace or Duroc. As part of the pigs diet they eat whey from the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The process of making the ham is closely regulated to ensure quality. A precise amount of salt is added and it is dried in the air on the hills of the Parma region. After about seven months the ham is smeared with a mixture of rice flour, salt and pork fat to stop it from drying out. After that it is moved to a cellar with perfect condition to mature the ham for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years before it is taken to market. It is an artisan product and you can taste it in the lovely balance between salty and sweet, delicious to eat sliced and lending it’s flavour to so many dishes.
Luigi Terroni came from a poor Italian family. He decided to leave Italy and go to England to find a better future, said and done he left home and made the journey on foot! Having finally made it to London he realised that other Italian immigrants, like himself were missing Italian produce. Seeing this opportunity he started the now oldest London Italian delicatessen, in Clerkenwell, in 1878. When you go there you can smell the Parma ham, the cheeses and it is easy to get excited about the delicious produce. You can also come in here and enjoy a strong Italian coffee and why not something to eat? This delicatessen springs from a will to change, determination and passion and what a delicious result.
There was plenty of Parma ham to taste, just sliced and delicious canapés.
The prosecco was flowing and I tasted a truly delicious focaccia from Donna Fügassa. It was soft with a spring and if I could bake focaccia like that I know I would eat way too much bread! It was jut delicious. So good I even had to take a picture of it!
The event made me think of passion and what drives us. I will use that going forward to determine my next step, a great thought to kick off the new year!