Prosciutto di Modena PDO is closely linked to the region it's produced in, since its qualities and characteristics are exclusively due to the geographical environment of the production area, which corresponds to the hills and valleys which develop around the oro-hydrographic basin of the Panaro river and which, starting from the piedmont strip, does not exceed an altitude of 900 metres, also including neighbouring regions in the provinces of Bologna and Reggio Emilia.
The tradition of Prosciutto di Modena began in very ancient times. It is difficult to establish the exact period when this practice began, but archaeological evidence tells us that pig breeding began on the banks of the Panaro river much earlier than in other areas of Emilia-Romagna and that the practice of preserving the thigh dates back to the Bronze Age. The Celts, and later the Romans, were very familiar with the processing and preservation of pork meat.
The stages of processing the Prosciutto, from salting to full curing, must take place exclusively in the typical area indicated above, as defined in the Production Specifications.
Only in this well-defined area are the factors necessary for this production concentrated, which are the particular microclimate and the knowledge of production techniques which has been developed and acquired over centuries.
Prosciutto di Modena PDO is produced using only the thighs of pigs born and bred in Italy and expertly measured-out salt.
The total maturing period, as stipulated in the current product specification, is at least 14 months; however, in view of the current characteristics of the raw material, the prosciutti are matured for at least 16-18 months and even longer before being placed on the market.
Because of the characteristics described above, Prosciutto di Modena PDO is particularly well cared for and carefully controlled at all stages of processing. In fact, the Protected Designation of Origin is conferred by branding the rind only on those prosciutti which, at the end of the maturing process, pass all the inspections of the Control Body, a third-party body appointed by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies.
The small number of ingredients and the long curing process make Prosciutto di Modena PDO a food which is suitable for all types of diets and extremely digestible; the high mineral and vitamin content and the limited intake of fats and salt make it more than balanced in its fat and protein contribution.