Salting of the ham
Production techniques applied in Istria include only salting of the fresh prosciutto-ham. The treated prosciutto-ham is cured with sea salt only or with a combination of sea salt and natural spices. Most frequently, a mixture of sea salt and ground black pepper (Piper nigrum) is used, as well as garlic (Allium sativum).
The mixture used for salting of the Istrian prosciutto-ham contains 94 - 98.5 % NaCl, l.5 - 3 % ground pepper and l.5 - 2 % garlic. Immediately before salting, the left-over blood from the femoral artery is strongly squeezed out from the prosciutto-ham (a.femoralis) and other parts containing blood. Now, salt and spice mixture is rubbed well into the fresh prosciutto-hams placed one above the other in 3 -5 layers, with the inner (medial) side turned upwards. After seven days, these prosciutto-hams are rubbed again with the same mixture and placed one above the other, but this time the inner (medial) side is turned downwards.
Prosciutto-hams laid in this way are put to rest for another 7 days, and the surrounding temperature in the perfectly clean deposit room must not exceed 3 - 6 degrees Celsius. The pressing of the prosciutto-ham follows within 7 days and it takes place in the same room or in some other room where the air temperature must not exceed 3 - 6 degrees Celsius, with the relative humidity level being 80 - 90 %