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Sam the Ham Becomes Prosciutto Pete

Sometimes Italian experiences happen almost by accident. Umbra staff member Zach Now has been fiddling for years with Italian foods, but decided last year to try his hand at prosciutto, a type of cured ham that sits almost as high on the Italians list of favorite culinary delights, as the perpetually classic pizza.

Last January Zach prepared his ham according to his butcher’s recipe and, after the requisite forty days under salt, hung it up in his attic to cure.

In talking with new students last week, it stuck Zach that it was almost time to make the new prosciutto, and try out the one that had been waiting patiently for almost a year in his apartment’s dark attic. After mentioning this, a number of students voiced their desire to engage in this time honored tradition Italian tradition. The result? Last week Zach and four Umbra students (Andrew Ward, Kelsey Naro, Nicholas Todd, and Katherine Wiseman) rubbed down a thirty pound fresh ham with salt and put it up in the cold recesses of Zach’s attic and then, with much ado, helped sample the January 2007 ham, now a certified prosciutto. Even though it was a smidge saltier than might have been hoped, the ham had a savory taste. That night’s table hosted a fabulous meal: rigatoni with a prosciutto-pea-cream sauce. Buon appetito!

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