This product is typical of the middle and upper Vasto area (the same area as the Vasto “ventricina” product) and is made from the most prized part of the ham. It is oval in shape, weighing between 7-9kg, distinguished by the rind
attached to the meat; for curing it is wrapped in skin taken from the intestines and tied with string.
The key feature of “prosciutello” lies in the separation of the finest part of the ham from the remainder and the way it is trimmed, which results in its egg-shaped form.
The “prosciutello” is hung in a cold environment for at least 2-3 days and then coated with a dressing of salt, coarsely ground pepper and a mixture of aromatic herbs. Next, the “prosciutello” is laid in a container where it is
left to season for 3-4 days per kg of ham; it is turned daily during this stage and finally it is washed, dried and placed in a wooden box to be pressed for 3-4 days.
Next, the hams are hung in ventilated rooms to dry, smoked for half a day, wrapped in skins taken from the intestines and tied with twine. Maturation takes 8-12 months, depending on the weight.
The origin of “prosciutello” lies in the difficulty in obtaining whole mature hams because the climatic conditions were not conducive to the purpose. A complementary product to “prosciuttello” is “ventricina”, another typical charcuterie product of this area, using the prized cuts of the meat left from the trimming of the “prosciuttello”.