01. Receiving the meat

From the abattoir, the fresh haunches are delivered directly to our plants, where they are checked for compliance with the requisites of the Consortium’s official standards, and eventually trimmed to the standard ‘Parma cut’. After selection, the haunches are placed for 24 hours in refrigerated cells at 0°C, in order to prepare them for processing.

02. First salting

Within 5 days of slaughter, the haunches are treated with salt, using two different procedures: by rubbing moist salt on the rind and by sprinkling dry salt on the muscle. The entire process is carried out manually by Ferrari’s master salters, in order to ensure correct and uniform absorption of the salt. The hams then remain in a ‘first salt’ refrigeration cell for 7 days, at temperatures between 0 and 5°C, with humidity below 60%.

03. Second salting

The haunches are cleaned of residual salt and then undergo a second, lighter salting, before being placed in a different ‘second salt’ cell at temperatures between 0 and 5°C, where it remains for roughly 15 days.

04. Desalting and grooming

Once removed from the cell, the salt is removed from the haunches, which undergo ‘grooming’, i.e. the removal of muscle crusts and the ends of the hip bone, to prevent eventual problems of moisture stagnation.

05. Resting

A thin rope is tied round the trotter and the ham is hung on a rack and wheeled into a refrigerated cell where it remains for 90-100 days at a temperature between 0 and 5°C. During the process of dehydration, the salt tones the outer tissues and penetrates in depth, spreading uniformly inside the muscle.

06. Washing and drying

After roughly 3 months in the cell, the hams are washed with hot water in order to eliminate salt crystals and eventual impurities, and then hung on racks and transferred to the ‘dryers’, special high moisture spaces with temperatures no higher than 20°C. Here they remain for a period from 3 to 15 days.

07. Pre-seasoning

The haunches are then placed in pre-curing rooms with special automatic windows that can be opened or closed to check temperatures – which vary from 11 to 22°C – and the humidity of the room and the ham, in order to ensure a gradual and constant drying process that lasts between 90 to 120 days.

08. Larding

The revealed muscle area and eventual rind cracks are spread with lard, made from minced pork fat, salt and rice flour. The lard softens the superficial layers, in order to avoid them drying too quickly compared to the deeper layers.

09. Seasoning

The hams are now ready for the last phase of their transformation into prosciutto. The seasoning process is carried out in the building’s cellars, where the controlled temperatures vary between 14 and 22°C and the natural ventilation from the large windows does its work. The clean fresh air allows the hams to ‘breathe’ and endows them with their special perfume and flavour.

10. Checking processes

At the end of the seasoning, each prosciutto undergoes a meticulous olfactory exam: a probe derived from an equine tibia is inserted in various parts of the muscle, in order to check its quality, verify the result of the process and establish its conformity with Prosciutto di Parma denomination standards. Members of the Ferrari family are always entrusted with this delicate operation, to guarantee the safety, quality and uniqueness of its products.

11. Branding

The fire-branding of the famous five point ducal crown – a process overseen by inspectors from the Institute of Parma Quality (IPQ) – certifies the granting of the prosciutto’s Denomination of Protected Origin (DOP).