Sunday, June 9, 2013

Istrian Prsut

While visiting a farmers market in Split, Croatia, outside the walls of Diocletian's Palace, we came across a stall selling dry-cured ham. 
Istrian prsut
It is a dry-cured ham similar to prosciutto, but made only in Istria, Croatia, a peninsula at the head of the Adriatic Sea. It is made from the uncooked hind leg or thigh of a pig. A major difference between prosciutto and Istrian prsut is that in making prsut, the skin of the pig is removed and the meat is covered with sea salt and pepper, and often laurel, rosemary and garlic. The pepper, instead of the skin, protects the meat from going bad. Then the meat is dried about five months during the winter in the cold northern winds, called the bura, until spring, when the meat is transferred to a cold basement at the right temperature and moisture level for another approximate 12 months. The rosy pigmentation of the meat is due to a chemical reaction and then a concentration of the pigments due to drying. The men we bought our prsut from said that it had been curing for three years. 
We bought quite a few slices and took it back to our hotel where we made sandwiches (aside from many slices that went directly into our mouths) with other ingredients also purchased from the market, including bread, fresh tomato, cheese and black olives. Judy proclaimed it the best prosciutto she's ever had and I have to agree with her. It fairly melts in your mouth and beautiful savory taste. Our only regret is that we did not buy more of it. We finished it all too quickly. At this link is a youtube video of someone slicing prsut

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely incredible stuff. It alone is a reason to return to Split.