Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Prosciutto

Hams are usually prepared during Christmas holidays, especially in some countries. The celebration won’t be complete unless a ham is present in the table. In most countries, however, this is the typical breakfast meal. Hams can be fresh, cured, or cured-and-smoked. These products are the cured leg of pork; however, fresh ham is an uncured pork leg.

Cured ham usually comes in deep rose or pink color while a fresh ham is a pale pink or beige in color. On the other hand, country ham and prosciutto, or the dry cured hams, look pink to mahogany in color. There are also ready-to-eat hams which include the prosciutto and cooked hams.


How Long Does a Prosciutto Last?

Prosciutto is often sweet and delicate ham but they can be salty yet delicious at times. This type of hams is ready-to-eat depending on the label of the product. There are those that tell you that you still need to “cook thoroughly”. Prosciutto is an Italian word which means “ham” but it is commonly used as a description for seasoned, cured, and air-dried ham.

Prosciutto hams undergo various processes, quality check and strict regulations to ensure safe and high-quality product for the consumers. If the proper precautions are not strictly observed and followed, this will lead to serious trouble and illness. Hence, it is important for the customers to know how to determine a high-quality prosciutto from an unsafe product.

Unopened prosciutto can last up to one to 2 months. However, if you have already opened it, you must consume it within 2 days. For your reference, here’s a chart table on how long hams could last, based on the FSIS:

Types of HamsRefrigeratedFrozen
Fresh (uncured) Ham, uncooked3 to 5 days6 months
Fresh (uncured) Ham, cooked3 to 4 days3 to 4 months
Cured Ham, cook-before-eating; uncooked5 to 7 days or “use-by” date*3 to 4 months
Cured Ham, cook-before-eating; after consumer cooks it3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
Cooked Ham, vacuum sealed at plant, undated; unopened2 weeks1 to 2 months
Cooked Ham, vacuum sealed at plant, dated; unopened“Use- by” date*1 to 2 months
Cooked Ham, vacuum sealed at plant, undated or dated; opened3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
Cooked Ham, whole, store wrapped7 days1 to 2 months
Cooked Ham, half, store wrapped3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
Cooked Ham, slices, store wrapped3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
Spiral-cut hams and leftovers from consumer-cooked hams3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
**Country Ham, uncooked, cut2 to 3 months1 month
Country Ham, cooked7 days1 month
Canned Ham, labeled "Keep Refrigerated," unopened6 to 9 monthsDo not freeze
Canned Ham, labeled "Keep Refrigerated," opened7 days1 to 2 months
***Canned Ham, shelf stable, opened3 to 4 days1 to 2 months
Lunch Meat Ham, sealed at plant, unopened2 weeks or “use-by” date*1 to 2 months
Lunch Meat Ham, sealed at plant, after opening3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
Lunch Meat Ham, sliced in store3 to 5 days1 to 2 months
Prosciutto, Parma or Serrano Ham, dry Italian or Spanish type, cut2 to 3 months1 month

List Prosciutto That You Can Buy Now

1. Del Duca Sliced Prosciutto - 16oz

For a sweet treat that will make you smile from ear to ear while eating it, try Del Duca sliced prosciutto. It is sweet, never salty and is aged and dried to perfection. Quality is of the utmost importance when it comes to sliced prosciutto, so Del Duca is made without any chemicals and without any preservatives. You get a product that has just pork and salt--all-natural, thinly sliced, and separated with an interleaf. It comes in a pack that is vacuum-sealed to lock in flavor and freshness for a long time, until you or others are ready to eat it.

2. Fiorucci Sliced Prosciutto 1 Lb (3 Pack)

When it comes to sliced deli meats, Fiorucci is a name you can trust because they have been in business since 1850. This company is known for quality meats with superb flavor, Fiorucci makes some of the best prosciutto around. Their prosciutto is hand selected and hand trimmed. Prosciutto is a very good tasting meat that is great on sandwiches, subs and more. Fiorucci prosciutto is cured with salt, but doesn't have an overbearing salty taste. It is vacuum sealed for freshness and has thin interleaf between every slice. The meat is sliced thin--the perfect sized slice for your sandwiches.

3. Italian Prosciutto Ham Whole Boneless (11-13 Lbs)

This prosciutto ham is perfect for slicing thin for sandwiches or for using on pizza, pasta dishes, salads, and more. It is aged for 12 months, cured with salt, and imported from Italy. Despite being cured in salt, it has a mildly sweet taste that will make you savor every bite of this delicious meat. It is vacuum-sealed, so it will last at room temperature for a very long time. Once you open it, it should be refrigerated. The prosciutto ham is boneless, making it even easier to slice it. Sliced fresh straight from the ham, this prosciutto is some of the best on the market.

4. Prosciutto (4 Lb) Negroni Italia 14 month boneless from Italy

If you want genuine Italian prosciutto, then Negroni Italia is the right choice for you. Imported straight from Italy, Negroni Italia prosciutto is one of the most tender, flavorful prosciuttos that you will come across. The prosciutto is aged for 14 months with no rushing, and vacuum-sealed to maintain its succulent flavor and freshness. The prosciutto is all-natural and cured with a minimal amount of salt so it doesn't have a salty taste, but rather a lightly sweet taste and fragrance, and an attractive color and texture. When you try Negroni, you get four pounds of high-quality, authentic Italian prosciutto.

How Can You Tell if Prosciutto has Gone bad?

Here are the steps on how you can determine an edible prosciutto from a bad one:

1. Refer to the date on the package. The pre-sliced prosciutto will have an expiration date of 90 to 120 days. This also depends on the size of the ham. If the expiration date is already over, do not consume it.

2. Look at the color. When you open the package, you must see a reddish-pink to mahogany color. The fat should look pale ivory or white. The prosciutto must not look green, blue, or gray. This means the meat is already spoiled.

3. Smell the meat. Prosciutto must not have sour odors because this indicates that the meat is not fresh. It should smell fresh with a salty, bacon-like scent, instead.

4. Feel the meat. The prosciutto should feel dry or slightly moist. It should not feel slimy or gooey.

Choosing the Best

When choosing the best prosciutto for your grocery, you must always check the label. It usually takes up to 90 to 120 days before the meat expires. Though it is usually sliced thinly, there are those where you can request for your desired cuts. Prosciutto can be eaten raw or you can add it to pasta or risotto. However, the ham should be added at the last minute of cooking so the flavor won’t be damaged.

Prosciutto can be refrigerated or frozen. But you must always make sure to consume it before the expiry date. If you have already opened it, you must consume the ham within two days. There are various recipes available where you can use prosciutto. If you don’t want to eat it raw, you can cook it and add it to your recipes as an ingredient.

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