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Prosciutto is a dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian.
Prosciutto is made from either a pig's or a wild boar's ham (hind leg or thigh). The process of making prosciutto can take anywhere from nine months to two years, depending on the size of the ham.
Sliced prosciutto crudo in Italian cuisine is often served as an antipasto, wrapped around grissini, or accompanied with melon. It is also eaten as accompaniment to cooked spring vegetables, such as asparagus or peas. It may be included in a simple pasta sauce made with cream, or a Tuscan dish of tagliatelle and vegetables. It is used in stuffings for other meats, such as veal, as a wrap around veal or steak, in a filled bread, or as a pizza topping. Prosciutto slices are often difficult to cut in pieces for use in cooking, as they tend to shred and stick to one another. In this case, either using very sharp knives or shredding by hand is best.
Saltimbocca is an Italian veal dish, where escalopes of veal are topped with a sage leaf before being wrapped in prosciutto and then pan-fried.
Prosciutto is often served in sandwiches and panini, sometimes in a variation on the Caprese salad, with basil, tomato and fresh mozzarella. A basic sandwich served in some European cafes and bars consists of prosciutto in a croissant.