Can I Eat Prosciutto Ham Without Cooking It?

Prosciutto (pronounced proh-shoo-toe) is a type of ham originating from Italy. Its name comes from "prosciugare," the Italian word for "to dry." Prosciutto ham is sold in two forms. The prosciutto crudo ham is seasoned and air-dried, so it's technically considered raw. This is the most common type sold in America. Prosciutto cotto is a form of cooked ham. You may serve both types of prosciutto without further cooking.

rolled prosciutto Credit: Dusan Zidar/Hemera/Getty Images

How to Use

According to, prosciutto is typically sliced thin and eaten without heating. It can be added to recipes, such as risotto or pesto, to infuse flavor but shouldn't be subjected to prolong heat. Too much cooking will destroy the texture and flavor. You can identify its region of origin by the words following prosciutto -- prosciutto di San Daniele, for example. If you want a sweeter style, look for prosciutto di Parma, while prosciutto Toscano is a savorier type, seasoned with salt, rosemary, pepper and juniper. One easy way to serve prosciutto is wrapped around melon as an appetizer.

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