The Prosciuttificio (ham factory) Alberti is located in San Daniele del Friuli in the historic center, almost on the top of the hill.
With over 117 years of history and 5 generations, the Alberti family is involved in production strictly following each process with the best technology but performing all the most delicate phases by hand.
To obtain a final product of absolute certified quality, the traditional process is followed according to specifications.
At the initial reception, each thigh is trimmed to take the traditional shape of San Daniele.
From here begins a long and traditional process that will lead the pork leg to become, after 13 months, one of the most known and appreciated products of the Italian gastronomic scene.
After the initial selection, the thigh is covered with sea salt observing the traditional rule according to which the days of salting must be equal to the number of kilograms of weight of the thighs.
After spending the corresponding days of salt, the thighs are desalted and placed on horizontal shelves, in this way the muscle masses are evenly pressed for the subsequent curing phase.
After pressing, the pork leg remains for a period of between 90 and 150 days in a series of cells called “rest”. At this stage the ham must dry slowly.
The larding is carried out manually upon reaching the seventh month. The purpose of this processing phase is to soften the superficial muscle layers both to avoid drying too quickly compared to the internal ones, and to allow a gradual loss of moisture.
Grouting is performed manually upon reaching the tenth month with a mixture of pork fat, salt, pepper and rice flout.
After this processing, the product remains in the maturing rooms, exploiting the natural winds of the moraine-hilly area of San Daniele or in modern warehouses thanks to controlled ventilation systems and can thus continue the maturing process.
QUALITY CONTROL and SPOT WELDING
An ancient and typical gesture of olfactory evaluation of ham is that of spotting. For this purpose, a horse shin bone is used which, thanks to the particular porosity, retains the perfume. The probes must be carried out in 5 points of the ham corresponding to the drains of the internal veins, where any blood residues can give rise to defects.
Only the thighs that have the right aroma pass this phase and continue towards marking when reaching the thirteenth month. The INEQ Certification Institute performs the final checks and then authorizes the affixing of the San Daniele mark which is carried out on fire.
I thank Prosciuttificio Alberti factory for its hospitality and availability.