Between one slice and the next

What is the purpose of the trotter?
Retaining the trotter is part of the traditional processing carried on in San Daniele del Friuli. It enables the biological integrity of the leg of pork to be maintained. What is more, keeping the whole joint intact facilitates drainage of the moisture even from those parts from which it is most difficult in relation to the force of gravity.

Only the hind legs are used. Why is this?
Because the hind legs of a pig are whole anatomical parts that are particularly suitable in terms of their physical characteristics (weight, shape of the muscle, flesh and the appropriate proportion of fat) for maturing over a long period.

 Are pigs from outside Italy also used?
No. According to the Production Specifications, the pigs must be born, bred and slaughtered only in ten regions of Italy, that are Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche and Umbria.

How long does the maturing process last?
It must last at least 13 months.

Does the principle that the longer a ham is matured for the better it is apply?
A ham matured for a longer period of time is not “better”. It differs from one matured for a shorter period of time: the flavour is more intense and the flesh is a little drier. The choice depends entirely on personal taste.

What kind of salt is used?
Sea salt.

What are those little white granules that are found every so often?
That is tyrosine, a natural amino acid typical of a properly matured ham.

Does San Daniele ham contain any nitrates or nitrites?
No. According to the Production Specifications, San Daniele ham must not contain any additives or preservatives at all.