PROSCIUTTO DI SAN DANIELE

Often considered the finest ham available, Prosicutto San Daniele is characterized by a sweet, delicate flavor and a lighter-colored flesh than that of Prosicutto di Parma, its more widely know counterpart. Made from the hind legs of pigs raised in the town of San Daniele, just outside of Udine, this ethereal ham is dry cured with sea salt for up to 1 month, then dried without smoking anywhere from 8 months to 2 years. Prosciutto San Daniele is one of a category of hams meant to be eaten raw, and is most often served thinly sliced, with an accompaniment of fruit, nuts, cheeses or simply prepared vegetables. It is also used like bacon to flavor dishes, but its delicate texture is almost immediately compromised by the application of heat. As it is a rather expensive ingredient, pancetta or bacon make fine substitutes for this technique.