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The step-by-step specialty ham production process

To make outstanding quality speck, producers must use only premium ingredients

Only speck that has been created in accordance with the traditional methods may bear the quality seal of approval Speck Alto Adige P.G.I. Speck Alto Adige P.G.I. owes its supreme quality to the traditional principle “use a little salt, a little smoke and lots of fresh mountain air.” The smoked ham production process in South Tyrol combines two methods into one: the Mediterranean approach and the Northern European one. The unique feature of the Mediterranean method is the dehydration process, which uses salt and air-drying to pull the water out of the ham hock; the result is air-dried ham. The Northern method, on the other hand, utilizes techniques such as salting, seasoning and smoking to conserve the ham.

As a country that melds two different cultures, South Tyrol has created its own typical production process. It combines both ham production methods, i.e. smoking and air-drying and it thus reaps the benefits of both. It is this symbiosis that makes Speck from South Tyrol so unique and unmistakably authentic. All producers still safeguard their secret family recipes for smoked ham today and they are handed down from generation to generation.

The large and the small producers of Speck Alto Adige P.G.I. share one unique trait: their artisanal skilfulness and their strict compliance with the provisions for traditional South Tyrolean smoked ham production. Stringent inspections guarantee the best possible quality. The production of South Tyrolean Speck is an art all to itself, which takes five concisely coordinated phases: from the selection of the raw material to seasoning and smoking of the speck to the ham curing process and the final inspection. The entire step-by-step process has to be completed to create this specialty ham: