Culatello is made from largest muscle of the hind leg of pigs that were born, raised and slaughtered in Somerset.
The pigs are all traditional breed, outdoor reared, and raised to be much larger that most animals in the UK. This will produce a larger ham, a better quality of fat, deeper flavour and higher degree of marbling.
At Somerset Charcuterie they have two charcutiers who are trained in grading the meat. Only the best of the hams we receive are allowed through this grading to be turned into Culatello.
The thigh is skinned and deboned, and the best part, is removed and salted. After a few days, when the salt has effectively cured the meat, it is washed in traditional somerset cider and then sewn into in a clean, dry pork bladder or beef cap. A string net is then made around the encased ham to shape it into its trademark pear shape and to act as a cradle to hang it from in the drying room.
At this point, the culatello is placed in our drying room with a Himalayan salt brick wall for around 12 months.
Once it has been fully matured, the culatello will have lost 45% of its original weight and will be hard to the touch. It will be cut free from any twine and trimmed to remove any hard edges before being sliced and packed.
The slow maturing process and careful choosing of meat delivers a flavour that will challenge the most premium of Spanish and Italian hams.
Winner of Great Taste 2 Stars 2017
Taste of the West Gold 2017