In the tradition of the istrian gastronomy THE PROSCIUTTO - PRŠUT is the top and the measure for all the exquisiteness, for every guilty of gluttony or overindulgence. When, for instance, somebody praises salted sardines, he would say: ‘’It’s like the prosciutto. If there is a delicious smoked bacon, it is praised in the following way: ‘’It Is better than the prosciutto. For a rosy cheeks girl one would say: ‘’She is red like a prosciutto. Although not good looking from the outside (peppery and moldy), it is perceived and recognized as an absolute beauty: the istrian use to compare it with a – violin.
This regal status is deserved thanks to its taste, smell, color, to the right softness, likewise the freshness and, even though those elements are very refined, the real gourmets are always able to precisely recognize them. The quality and the substance are hidden in the sweetness, softness and the fragrance. The ham is a real status symbol of the istrian cuisine. In the past it was also used to pay the doctor, the lawyer, the veterinary, or in conclusion - for every eventuality. It was rarely eaten at everyday house meals, exception made for festivities, weddings and arrival of guests.
The alternative for the ham was the špaleta, the shoulder joint, the front pig’s trotter, the little ham. Like in the slavonian cuisine there are the kulen (type of flavored sausage made of minced pork) and the kulenova seka (literally kulen's little sister; when the kulen meat is stuffed into a smaller intestine), the same relationship exists between the ham and the shoulder joint; which, even though smaller, is of the same quality as the ham. Due to the fact that it is smaller and with more bones, it matures earlier and is traditionally consumed during Easter. Nowadays, there are some ten valid ham producers in Istria, and from the bordering Slovenia come few kinds of industrially produced ham named - istrian, but all those are far from being authentic.
But, what are the concealed secrets of such delicacy? Are those to be searched amongst the ability, the attention, the patience, or are those just the weather conditions? Perfect computerized dry-kilns are certainly already far from the bura wind and the old stone cellars where the istrian ham matures. Serial production of ham, even though offering a good product, is just a surrogate of what we call THE HOME-MADE ISTRIAN HAM.
So, we are going to reveal you the secrets of this great pride of ours.