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Matters of taste: Parma ham

The transformation of Parma ham is a study of how modern regulations and marketing can spoil an ancient artisanal delicacy

By Alex Renton   November 2010

Alberto Rossetti, chef of Parma’s Al Tramezzo restaurant, is a devoted fan of the ham for which his hometown is famed. Tattooed on his thigh is the ducal crown emblem branded on every leg of prosciutto crudo di Parma. In September, during Parma’s annual festival of ham, I ate a glorious and quite bonkers feast at his Michelin-starred restaurant. Parma ham featured prominently, along with the region’s other great gift to the stomach, parmesan cheese.

The six glutamate-laden courses included a luxurious squid, prawn and prosciutto crudo risotto. This was good, surprisingly, since you might believe that the last thing…

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