Eat this Word: Culatello

Culatello WHAT? Hamming it up. Just about everyone knows that Parma is famous for its raw, cured ham called prosciutto di Parma. But real pork-product purists prefer the region’s rarer and more delectable culatello. The best, most traditional culatello is labeled with the D.O.P. “Culatello di Zibello,” and it is made according to strict regulations enforced by the Consorzio del Culatello di Zibello in and around the town of Zibello, about 20 miles outside of Parma. Only the large muscles of the pigs’s hind legs and inner thigh, off the bone, are used (culatello means “little backside”). The meat is cured with salt, seasoned with a mixture of black pepper, wine, and herbs, and aged for a minimum of 12 months before it is sold. The characteristic pear shape is enhanced by intricate tying that produces an attractive rosette pattern when the culatello is cut crosswise into paper-thin slices. WHERE?

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