Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

For a snack fit for a king, try a few slices of hand-cut Chianti Ham on a thick slice of the unsalted bread typical of Tuscany and Chianti.

The butcher shop Macelleria Parti, along the via Senese in San Donato in Poggio, tells us everything about ham processing.

The “recipe”. We only use Italian pigs for our ham. The pig’s back leg is trimmed with a knife, then rubbed with salt and a paste of garlic made from fresh cloves.

This is the first stage of the curing process, which lasts 21 days; every week surplus curing is removed and new seasoning is added.

The butcher’s mastery consists in understanding the percentage of salt that can be absorbed by each ham.

Experience really counts at this point. After three weeks, the ham is washed with running water, left to air-dry for 2-3 days and placed in a cool room.

It’ll stay here for at least 100 days, to remove moisture from the meat. After four months from the first seasoning, the ham is washed again with running water, sprinkled with garlic and pepper, and hung.

Here it will age for 8 months, in a journey that lasts at least a year in total.

Emiliano, his father Danilo, Luciana (Emiliano’s mother), Elia, Filippo and Tommaso, a group of people work in closeknit harmony every day in the butcher shop Macelleria Parti in Via Senese.

The secret ingredient that makes their products special is the passion they have for their work.

Here the Prosciutto Chiantigiano is a sort of “religion” – one look at the delicious hams hanging over you in the shop, and you’ll understand what we mean”.