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Prosciutto and jamon. Is there any difference?

Sausage or salami – these names will not surprise anyone. But jamon or prosciutto are already make interest. If you didn’t know, jamon and prosciutto are two different things, even though they are similar like twin brothers. Yes, these are all types of ham, but jamon is from Spain, and prosciutto is from Italy. But even in the photo you can hardly discern where the jamon is, and where its Italian brother prosciutto. The only one thing that binds these two products is that they are made from the hind pork legs. And the recipe and the way of cooking are completely different things.


What is prosciutto?

Let’s start with prosciutto. This is a dried pork ham. In the world there are two types of prosciutto: crudo and cotto. Their difference in the method of cooking. To cook prosciutto crudo, meat is poured with plenty of sea salt, and then dried with the help of sun and wind. The leg first lies on the racks in a horizontal position, and only then it is hung, constantly checking. Prosciutto-cotto is more like ordinary ham. Meat is first boiled, and only then dried, but again with a large amount of sea salt.

Prosciutto can be both of colours – soft pink and dark red. It all depends on how it was cooked, how much salt was used, how long the meat was dried and what other spices were used. Anyway, not every pork ham can make good prosciutto ham.

Each region of Italy has its own way of cooking prosciutto. And cotto with crudo can be divided into seven more types of ham:

  • Prosciutto di Parma
  • Prosciutto di San Daniele
  • Prosciutto di Modena
  • Prosciutto Toscano
  • Prosciutto Veneto Beriko-Euganeo
  • Prosciutto di Carpeña
  • Prosciutto Crudo di Cuneo

As you understand the taste of prosciutto depends on the region, breed and feed of pigs, and of course, the time of exposure. But despite the number of types of this ham, the most popular is Prosciutto di Parma. Parma prosciutto is considered the oldest species, which gave rise to others.


Spanish brother of prosciutto is jamon. What is the difference between jamon prosciutto? It is more dry and seasoned. There are two types of jamon: iberico and serrano. Their difference in pork, from which jamon is made. Iberico is made from black breed of pigs, and serrano – from white. It is very simple to distinguish them – according to the color of the hoofs on the whole dried pork leg.

Iberico – more expensive kind of jamon. The name comes from the name of the breed of pigs from which this ham is made. Pigs fatten acorns from cork oak, so thanks to that the taste of jamon can not be compared with anything.

The type of serrano is considered a cheaper one, which is made from white pigs. They are fed normal fodder, and not grown on a special acorn diet.

Jamon prepare for very long. On average, for a good result, meat should be dried at a low temperature of 48 months. Just imagine, four years! Whole four years must pass to make an exquisite delicacy.

Prosciutto or jamon?

So what is better – prosciutto or jamon? Whatever you choose, it will be delicious. But still, if you like a softer delicate taste and texture – Italian prosciutto is for you. And if you want something seasoned, dry – for you Spanish jamon.

The beauty of these types of ham is that you don’t need to bother with itserving. All you need to do is to take some crispy bread, good cheese, a glass of wine and some jamon or prosciutto. This will be a great start or end of the day. Prosciutto and jamon are eaten absolutely with everything: you can add it to pizza, salads and various types of pasta.

Can you try real jamon or prosciutto in Ukraine? Of course! We invite you to the restaurant Mercato Italiano in Kiev. Here you can try gourmet snacks with jamon, as well as dishes with the addition of prosciutto. Just like in Italy. We guarantee you!


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