Parma ham is a type of prosciutto that comes from a region in Italy called Parma. This product is cut into thin slices and served uncooked, usually on charcuterie plates, or put in sandwiches. But, what do you use as an alternative for Parma ham?
The best substitutes for Parma ham are different varieties of prosciutto and bacon.
Keep on reading to find out how you can imitate the taste of Parma ham using these substitutes.
Substitutes for Parma Ham
Different Varieties Of Prosciutto
Since Parma ham is a type of prosciutto, this is the only alternative that can actually do the job and not interfere with the taste. You can use any type of prosciutto you want, all of them are salty and very similar to each other. The only difference is the regions that they come from.
What Is Prosciutto
Prosciutto is made from pork legs. The meat is covered in salt and left for a couple of weeks to dry. That’s why it’s safe for us to eat this raw meat. The process of salting(curing) is to enhance the tastes and prevent bacteria from entering the meat.
When that process is done, there comes another one. The meat is then washed with water to get rid of all the salt, and it is again seasoned and left to dry, this time for up to 38 months. The saltiness enhances the tastes of the pork legs, giving it a nice umami flavor.
What Is Prosciutto Used For
Prosciutto is used mostly raw and in pairing with other foods. This product is a guest of honor in almost every charcuterie plate but also can be a great companion in sandwiches, salads, beef recipes, and pizzas.
I honestly love prosciutto and I could eat it all the time. The smokey flavor is what keeps on making me reach for it when I’m grocery shopping.
Simple Recipes Using Prosciutto
- Prosciutto-wrapped melon slices- Cut some slices of melon and wrap them in prosciutto. Serve it with some dry white wine, or any type of alcohol of your choice. This is the perfect finger food for a hot summer evening.
- Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus – Just like the previous recipe, wrap your asparagus with a slice of any type of prosciutto. You can season it with a little bit of black pepper or chili pepper.
- Charcuterie plate- You can use your imagination with this one. Mix different types of cheese, cold meats, nuts, fruits and decorate with some prosciutto-made roses. Popular meat choices for this type of flavor pairing on a plate are ham, bacon, and a variety of salami.
- Beef- Any type of beef recipe can go well with the smoky flavor of prosciutto. The most popular beef recipes with this product are beef wellington, and beef Braciole, beef-prosciutto lasagna.
- Pork chops wrapped in prosciutto- After cooking the pork chops until they’re golden-brown, wrap them in a piece of prosciutto and cook them until crispy.
[Related Article: How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Ham And Other FAQs]
Bacon is also pork meat but it is made either from the back fat of the pork, or the pork belly. This product Is eaten on its own or cooked and used in various dishes and recipes.
When I think of bacon, it immediately reminds me of breakfast food. While you can’t completely imitate the flavor and streakiness of the Parma ham, you can enjoy the saltiness and crunchiness of bacon.
Types Of Bacon
- American bacon- is one of the most popular types of bacon in the World and It is made from the belly part of the pork. This type of bacon has a crispy texture when cooked and leaves a generous amount of grease in the pan that can be later used for pancakes, for roasting vegetables, and even to fry a grilled cheese in it.
- British Bacon/Rashers- This is a meat cut from the loin of the pork. It is usually meatier than your regular, crispy bacon. This bacon is used as a breakfast food in Britain, along with a slice of bread, fried eggs( or scrambled eggs), champignon mushroom(or shiitake mushrooms), and tomatoes
- Canadian Bacon- If you’re going for crunchy, crispy bacon this might not be your best choice. Although it’s called bacon, the form and the taste of the meat are very similar to ham. Canadian bacon is made from the cured loin of the pork.
- Lardons- This is a French type of pork belly cuts of meat (cubes) that are cured in salt and therefore have a more intense flavor. It can be interpreted in many dishes like Raclette and Carbonara pasta.
- Duck Bacon- If you want something less fatty and more healthy, then this is the right choice for you. This bacon is made from thinly sliced duck breasts that are smoked and uncured. The texture is similar to American bacon.
- Turkey Bacon- This is a popular alternative for pork bacon if you’re watching your calorie intake. It is also lower in sodium and fat. This type of meat is made from smoked turkey meat.
- Coconut Bacon- With its signature flavor, I’m sure coconut bacon is not what you’re used to when making your favorite breakfast but it can be a great meat replacer if you’re vegan, or you simply don’t eat meat. It is made with coconut flakes, liquid smoke, some smoked paprika, and maple syrup. While not the most sufficient ingredient to pair with eggs, you can put this pretend bacon in salads and dips.
[Related Article: 5 Best Bacon Cooker And Buying Guide]
What Can I Use As A Substitute For Prosciutto
Panchetta, ham, and capicola can be great substitutes for prosciutto.
Is Serrano Ham Like Prosciutto
Yes. Serrano ham is very similar to Italian Prosciutto. The only difference is that Serrano ham comes from a specific type of white pig.
What Is A Serrano Ham
Serrano ham or Jamon is a dry-cured ham made from the hind legs of white pigs and it’s made in Spain. This ham has a nutty flavor and salty taste. You may find this product to be quite expensive, that’s because the white pigs are very rare and they don’t have much meat on them like regular pigs.
Can I Substitute Bacon For Prosciutto
You can try using cooked and crispy bacon to imitate the saltiness of the prosciutto, but otherwise, the taste won’t be the same. Honestly, there are no substitutes for this product, but it can easily be found in local markets at a moderate price.