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Prosciutto from the Vipava Valley

Reigning supreme in local cuisine

The culinary exploration of the Vipava Valley begins and ends with the local prosciutto. And rightly so. Of all the types of prosciutto in the world, the Vipava Valley prosciutto stands out as particularly delectable. After you're done with one slice, you will want to go back for more of this unique delicacy that marks every visit to the Valley.

The key element in making genuine prosciutto from Vipava Valley is the local climate. Due to the unique topography of the Valley, the Mediterranean influence reaches far inland, even as far the foot of the Nanos Plateau. This rare constellation of wind, sun and moisture puts prosciutto curing in this locality on a whole different level.

To prepare the Vipava prosciutto, locals traditionally choose legs of pigs that are fed to gain higher weight. The distinct thigh shape is in keeping with tradition and has to meet certain standards. The thighs have no trotters and the skin is left on to preserve the natural distribution of meat and fat. Then the thighs are salted with sea salt and hung to air dry. Although weather conditions are crucial for the aging of ham, a superior product also requires time; several months in fact.

But the result is remarkable. A cured bone-in prosciutto from the Vipava Valley weighs over 6kg. The thin slices stand out with a deep ruby red and a fully developed aroma of dry-aged meat. The texture is supple, dry and melts in the mouth. Typical for our prosciutto is the lower moisture content and thus  deeper saltiness.

When it comes to producing premium prosciutto it all comes down to the right climate conditions, however this doesn't make the whole process from start to finish any less of an art form. Masters of the craft of prosciutto-making guard their secrets closely, and love to show off their slicing skills. Once the prosciutto from the Vipava Valley is mounted on the carving stand, the meat feast can begin …