Prosciutto Vs Parma Ham (Major Differences)

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Difference between Prosciutto and Parma Ham



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Many foods we eat today have more than one name; foods can have an English name, a Spanish name, and also an Italian name. However, sometimes, these different names can be confusing, especially to foreigners.

In the case of prosciutto vs parma ham, are they the same product (food) or different meals?

Basically, parma ham and prosciutto are the same product, and at the same time, they are not the same food. Parma Ham is a variety of prosciutto.

Well, this shouldn’t confuse you; this article details the difference between Parma ham and prosciutto.

Prosciutto Vs Parma Ham: The Origin

Both names are from Italy; while Parma is a name of an Italian city, prosciutto is the Italian name for “Ham.” Arguably, you already know that ham is a type of pork (a cured pork).

In Italy, people use the names interchangeably; some people call it Parma Ham, while some others call it Prosciutto di Parma.

Actually, the main reason you’d see Parma in all the nicknames is that the people are referring to a variety of ham (prosciutto) that originated from the Italian city of Parma.

Furthermore, in Italy, there are many varieties of prosciutto; literally, every city has its unique version, and as you may guess, they all taste differently. Well, among all the varieties in Italy, Parma Ham is the most popular one, and it also tastes great.

Types of Prosciuttos Found in Italy

Prosciutto Vs Parma Ham

There are about ten famous varieties of prosciutto from Italy. Below are the EU designations:

  • Prosciutto di Parma, Italy, PDO
  • Prosciutto di San Daniele, Italy, PDO
  • Prosciutto Toscano, Italy, PDO
  • Prosciutto di Sauris, Italy, PGI
  • Prosciutto di Modena, Italy, PDO
  • Prosciutto di Carpegna, near Montefeltro, Italy, PDO
  • Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo, Italy, PDO
  • Prosciutto di Norcia, Italy, PGI
  • Crudo di Cuneo, Italy, PDO
  • Jambon de Bosses (Val d’Aosta)

It is important to say that these varieties (designations) of Prosciutto from Italy have slightly different colors, tastes, and textures.

Well, there are all good and taste great. However, Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele are believed to be the best ones.

Now, back to our main topic; is there any significant difference between Parma Ham and Prosciutto?

Parma Ham Vs. Prosciutto | Key Differences

As mentioned repeatedly in this article, Parma Ham is a type of prosciutto produced in Italy. You can substitute Parma ham with another variety of prosciutto.

So, the simple and only difference here is this, prosciutto is a type of cured pork (ham) mainly seen in Italy, and Parma Ham is simply a type of prosciutto.

You would find many types of prosciutto (ham) in Italy, but there are no different types or varieties of Parma Ham. Now you’ve known the difference?

What Makes Parma Ham Special?

Many times, different people have declared that Parma Ham is the sweetest type of Italian hams. Apparently, this can be linked to the recipe used in preparing the ham.

Parma ham takes a longer time to cure, and this is because the chefs use only salt for the curing. Unlike other types of prosciuttos, which are cured with chemicals.

Also, over the years, parma ham has the highest quality compared with other prosciutto varieties. Well, this is because it does not contain any artificial chemical or coloring ingredient.

This type of prosciutto is also the most expensive anywhere you find it. Yes, its origin is the city of Parma in the Emilia Romagna region, Northern Italy, but parma ham is also available outside Italy.

It is just the best ham to eat, and it contains several healthy nutrients that are important to the human body.

Is Parma Ham Healthy?

Generally, hams are healthy, and because there are many types of them, the nutrients you’d get differs based on the variety you’re eating. Particularly, parma ham (prosciutto di parma) is rich in protein and free amino acids.

Furthermore, this ham variety contains high oleic acid, which is a healthy mono-saturated omega-9 fatty acid.

The protein content in parma ham is about 28g per 100g. That’s pretty much anyway. But the end of it all is the fact that Parma Ham is nutritious.

What More?

So, what are our final words on prosciutto vs. parma ham? They are both the same; when people talk about parma ham, they refer to a particular type of prosciutto.

In contrast, when you hear people talk about prosciutto, they could be referring to parma ham or any of the other nine varieties of prosciutto (according to EU designations).

Hopefully, this article detailed everything you need to know about prosciutto and parma ham.

On a conclusive note, parma ham is the best variety of Italian hams because it is made naturally with no artificial additives.

The recipe is simple and easy to follow. Regardless, other types of prosciutto are good and tasty – you may want to check them out, too.

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