Prosciutto di Sauris PGI is a raw, smoked ham obtained through the processing of fresh pig legs from the Large White, Landrace Italiana and Duroc Italiana breeds.
The pigs are slaughtered between the age of nine and fifteen months.
The legs are isolated from the carcass and must weigh a minimum of 11 kg.
They are then trimmed and salted, which involves the leg being covered with a layer of concia, a mixture of sea salt and/or halite, pepper and garlic.
This is a complimentary process to smoking, which is one of the most important stages in the production of Prosciutto di Sauris PGI;
smoking takes place in rooms with a temperature between 15 and 20°C and a humidity level of 50-90%.
The smoke comes from the combustion of beech wood in traditional fireplaces positioned outside the smoking room, and is transported into the room by means of suitable channels in the floor.
Smoking must last a maximum of 72 hours, after which the legs are left to rest before being moved to the curing rooms.
The curing process lasts at least 10 months, during which time the hams are covered in lard, washed and greased.
Apparence and flavour
Prosciutto di Sauris PGI is roundish in shape and is without the trotter.
The rind has a uniform golden walnut colour with orange hues. When cut, the colour is a uniform pinkish-red colour, with fatty parts ranging from white to pinkish-white.
The aroma is delicate and the flavour is sweet with a pleasant smoky note.
Prosciutto di Sauris PGI should be kept whole, in a dry cool place.
When the product is deboned, vacuum packed or cut, it is preferable to store it in the fridge at a temperature between 4 and 10°C.
It is very good when eaten with bread seasoned with cumin or poppy seeds. Its particular flavour is enhanced by dry fruit or creamy vegetable soups, such as those made with peppers.
It is perfect to pair with white wines, especially with a glass of the timeless Friuli Colli Orientali Bianco PDO.
The product is marketed as Prosciutto di Sauris PGI.
It is sold whole, boned or deboned; deboned, cut into pieces and vacuum-packed; sliced and pre-packaged, vacuum-packed or in atmosphere modified packaging.
Prosciutto di Sauris PGI is extremely sweet due to the fact that a reduced amount of salt can be used, because the smoking process alone guarantees that the meat is well preserved.
The custom of smoked meats in Sauris boasts very ancient origins.
However, there are only a few documents which testify to this history, as in the last century a fire completely destroyed the parish archive, which contained many documents.
The documents which were saved, however, confirm that a technique was developed over centuries in this small mountain town.
This technique eventually became a true art, combining the Nordic use of smoked meats with the Latin method of conserving them through salting.
In fact, it seems that the community of Sauris was established in the XIII century, by several families of Bavarian origin that had settled in the valley; here they maintained their traditional gastronomic traditions, integrating them with local ones.
The production area of Prosciutto di Sauris PGI is within the entire territory of the Municipality of Sauris, in the Province of Udine, in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region.
The pigs used must come from farms in the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Tuscany, The Marches, Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise.