Prosciutto di Palma - The Larding

We've arrived at the final stage of the Lou Palma Prosciutto Project - the larding!

Lou insists that real animal fat be used.  Not vegetable shortening!  To make the lard more spreadable, Lou dilutes it with a little water and a little flour.

The larding stage is essential to keep the portion of the pig that is skinless, soft during aging.  The layer of lard simulates a protective, fatty skin and allows for even aging.

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Prosciutto di Palma - The Pressing

Two weeks ago, in HFTK’s first segment of Prosciutto di Palma, we visited our partner in pork, Rob Nicolosi, at Nicolosi Foods, and procured our Berkshire pig – today we’re going to cure the pig.

Curing is amazingly simple – easy as 1,2,3. First, the pig leg is covered with Kosher salt. Then it’s wrapped in a plastic bag. Finally the uncured pork is pressed one day for each pound. For example, if you’re curing a 25 pound pig leg, according to Lou’s method, it should be pressed for 25 days.

The most intricate part of the undertaking is the pressing. This year, Lou is using a custom press, built and designed for him by Steve Cozzolino of Cozzolino Furniture Design.

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Hot From The Kettle: Prosciutto di . . . "Palma"?

The first food piece I wrote for our fine hyperlocal blog was Prosciutto de Baristaville, wherein I bemoaned the failure of my first prosciutto.

Shortly after the article ran, I was contacted by Montclair foodie and author, Laura Schenone. She suggested I contact the pork curing maestro, Lou Palma. I immediately emailed Lou, and the rest is Baristanet history – ravioli, Christmas Peppers, and now, Prosciutto di “Palma”.

On Decmeber 8, 2010, I took a trip with my favorite sidekick to Nicolosi Foods in Union City to procure what Lou calls, “the finest pork known to man,” the Berkshire pig.

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