You might know this meat for its fancy name, but how do you pair it for a party? Here’s the info on what cheese goes with prosciutto.
Many people enjoy pairing meats with the perfect cheese and wine. This can elevate their at-home dining experience. If you’re a home cook, the little tips and tricks in this article can help you enjoy preparing meals so much more.
When dealing with a delicate meat like prosciutto, finding the perfect cheese pairing is everything. Whether you’re preparing a meat and cheese board or planning a full meal with multiple courses, finding the best cheese for your meat is a must!
Today, let’s talk about prosciutto and how to select the cheese that complements its flavor the best. With these tips, you’ll feel like an accomplished home chef in no time!
What Is Prosciutto?
Prosciutto is a fine Italian meat available in most grocery stores. It’s thinly sliced, and it comes from the hind leg of a pig. Many people enjoy this meat on sandwiches as well as in pastas and salads. There are multiple varieties of prosciutto, but each is meticulously dry-cured to result in a buttery, smooth texture.
How Does Prosciutto Taste?
Most deli meats have a thicker, substantial texture with a salty flavor. Prosciutto is unique because of its dry-curing process. It maintains a delicate flavor that is slightly sweet and salty with a buttery texture. Some say this meat seems to melt in your mouth!
Some prosciutto varieties are seasoned with unique spices and herbs to give them a distinct flavor. Whatever variety you choose, prosciutto is mouth-watering and flavorful without any additional seasoning.
How Is Prosciutto Made?
One of the qualities that make prosciutto unique is the way it’s made. Most varieties of prosciutto can take up to three years in a dry-curing process where the ham is salted and aged to perfection. This unique aging process allows prosciutto to offer an intensely rich flavor with a delicate texture.
Although prosciutto isn’t cooked, it’s totally safe to consume. The reason it remains safe to eat is the salt-curing process done by the maestro salatore (salt master). The salt draws out impurities, making this meat safe and delicious to eat by the end of the curing and aging process.
What Goes Well With Prosciutto?
Let’s say you’re already a massive fan of prosciutto, and you want to start pairing it with foods that bring out its mouth-watering flavor. Experimenting with lots of different types of wine and cheese can be tasty, but it can also be expensive. We’ve curated a list to narrow down the kinds of wine and cheese that are best to enjoy with prosciutto.
Want to pop open a bottle of wine to pair with your fine deli meat? Here are a few of the most popular options:
- Pinot Grigio: The dry nature and bright acidity of pinot grigio make it an excellent candidate to pair with prosciutto!
- Sangiovese: This wine also offers a high acidity. It has cherry fruit flavors, which can help compliment the slightly-sweet quality of prosciutto.
- Sauvignon Blanc: This popular white wine has a refreshing crispness, and it pairs well with delicate prosciutto.
Once you’ve discovered what wines you prefer with your new favorite deli meat, it’s time to explore varieties of cheese to find the perfect match for your taste buds. Different kinds of prosciutto may pair well with different cheeses depending on herbs and spices added in the curing process.
Try these cheeses for yourself to determine the best coupling with your tasty prosciutto.
When paired with prosciutto, a creamy cheese like mozzarella will not disappoint the tastebuds. You probably have some form of mozzarella hanging in your fridge & it's just waiting to be thrown onto a crispy pizza or panini with savory prosciutto.
You’re probably most familiar with this variety of cheese sprinkled on top of warm, mouth-watering pasta dishes at Italian restaurants. However, did you know it also makes an excellent pair for prosciutto?
This variety of cheese tends to be salty and sharp. As a result, it contrasts well with the delicate, creamy taste of delicately-aged, buttery prosciutto. Consider pairing these together with a crunchy cracker for added texture.
Provolone is an authentic Italian cheese that is spun from stretched curd. Many versions of this cheese are pasteurized and aged for at least two months before being sold. This semi-hard cheese has nutty tasting notes with a smooth, mild overall quality.
When paired with prosciutto, the flavors in this cheese complement the meat wonderfully. You can enjoy this cheese hard or melted with your fine deli meat.
Most varieties of blue cheese tend to be soft or crumbly in consistency. They are not bitter, but they are somewhat salty and very sharp. Many varieties of blue cheese originated in France or England, but some are made in the United States.
Want to try this cheese with creamy prosciutto? The sharp essence of blue cheese makes a terrific combination with prosciutto’s buttery flavor and texture.
If you don’t have any blue cheese on hand, Halloumi is an excellent substitute. It typically comes from goat’s or sheep’s milk and is a semi-hard, unripened cheese with a tangy flavor.
Many people also enjoy pairing this cheese with prosciutto. One snack idea is to roll pieces of Halloumi in slices of prosciutto to enjoy both flavors simultaneously.
This crumbly cheese makes a terrific addition to so many salads and fresh dishes, but does it pair well with prosciutto? Feta is well-known for its soft, white consistency and a tangy, rich flavor. However, feta made with sheep’s milk tends to have a more buttery flavor.
This cheese makes an excellent pair for prosciutto. Try it for yourself to find out!