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If you’re in the mood to make a special dish but can’t find prosciutto at your local store – don’t worry! You don’t have to sacrifice flavor or texture when creating delicious meals. Our helpful guide will show you how to identify and use different substitutes for prosciutto so that you can still get that perfect balance of salty and savory when you are out.
Whether it’s serrano ham, speck, or country ham, there are plenty of quality alternatives available, and this blog post will help teach you about all the recipe options open to you. We even have a non-pork option for those who don’t or can’t eat pork. So let’s start exploring some substitutes for traditional prosciutto!
What is Proscuitto, And What Does it Taste Prosciutto Like?
Proscuitto is an Italian-style cured and salt-cured ham, most famously from the city of Parma in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It is made from either locally produced pigs or wild boar, which are carefully selected for their leanness and low-fat content.
The meat is then gently salted, left to dry and cure for several months, and then wrapped in paper or cloth and hung in a specific climate-controlled storage room.
After aging up to 18 months or longer, depending on the rest of the process, it is trimmed off any excess fat, hung to dry further, and inspected for quality. Proscuitto can offer a deliciously salty flavor with hints of sweetness from its slow curing process.
Substitutes for Prosciutto
These ten substitutes below can work interchangeably for prosciutto but please keep in mind some of these options are smoked. And I have realized some people LOVE the smoke flavor, and some don’t.
I also know that finding some of these options might be difficult, depending on your location. Do your best to find what works for you. Remember prosciutto is a dry cured salted ham.
Speck is similar to prosciutto as it is also a cured salted ham. After this curing process is complete, the product is exposed to smoke produced through burning wood and other materials such as herbs.
This gives it a smokey and juniper-like flavor and aroma versus prosciutto. Speck can be eaten on its own or used in recipes like prosciutto.
Culatello is a cured, salted pork salami made from the hind leg of a pig. It’s different from prosciutto because it is boneless and quite lean. Its flavor is more intense than prosciutto and can be used in recipes like risotto or pasta dishes as an interesting alternative.
Serrano ham is a type of cured and salted Spanish ham made from the hind leg of white pigs. It has been compared to prosciutto as it offers similar fatty and salty notes but with a smoky flavor.
It can be eaten on its own or used in recipes such as paella and other Spanish dishes.
York ham, also known as York City Ham, is an American-style country-cured smoked ham that is usually served uncooked. This type of ham is much leaner than prosciutto, but it nonetheless still provides a slightly sweet flavor with hints of smokiness.
Ardennes ham is a French cured and smoked ham. This type of ham is much leaner than prosciutto but still provides a deliciously smoky flavor with hints of sweetness. It can be eaten on its own or used in recipes such as coq au vin, pasta dishes, or gratins.
Bayonne ham is a French-cured and smoked ham made from the rear leg of a pig. It originates from the ancient port city of Bayonne. It has a slightly sweet flavor with hints of nuttiness and smokiness. This type of ham can be eaten on its own or used in recipes such as salads, quiches, or sandwiches.
This german ham is quite interesting as the pigs are fed a diet of acorns. This type of ham is much leaner than prosciutto and also provides a smoky flavor with hints of juniper. It can be eaten on its own or used in recipes such as casseroles, quiches, or souffle.
Country ham is an American-style country-cured and smoked ham that is usually served uncooked. It has a slightly sweet flavor with hints of smokiness and can be eaten on its own or used in recipes such as macaroni and cheese, baked beans, or even omelets.
Keep in mind that most country ham is thicker than prosciutto. So, depending on your recipe, you may need to do some tweaking. But this will probably be the easiest ham to find for those who live in the states.
Yunnan ham is a Chinese-style dry cured and smoked pork ham with a sweet, smoky flavor and hints of nuttiness. Many describe its flavor as being rich and deep. It can be eaten on its own or used in recipes such as dumplings, stir-fries, soups, or even mooncakes!
Bresaola (Pork Free)
If you can’t do pork, then bresaola to the rescue! Bresaola is an Italian-style cured and air-dried beef with a deliciously salty taste and hints of sweetness. It does have a stronger flavor than prosciutto. This type of meat can be eaten on its own or used in recipes such as salads, pasta, sandwiches, or pizzas.
My Final Thoughts On Alternatives For Prosciutto
Prosciutto is a type of cured ham that is typically made from pork. However, depending on your taste preferences and dietary restrictions, many different types of hams can be used as substitutes for prosciutto.
This article highlights some of the most popular substitutes for prosciutto, including speck, culatello, serrano ham, Yunnan ham, bresaola (pork-free), and country ham. So if you’re looking for something new to try or you’re just not feeling prosciutto today, these alternatives should do the trick!