What about Luciano?
A warm-hearted man, Luciano welcomed us as you would a guest in your own house. Gambero Rosso selected his San Daniele Prosciutto as one of only two to deserve an Excellence award but despite this great honour Luciano remains a humble man, without any trace of arrogance. Likewise his company remains a true artisan production site, displaying none of the grandeur and formality seen in larger companies: A small reception area with one door to the production area, one to the small shop and a glass wall separating Luciano and his wife’s small office from the hall. That’s it! We enter one of the rooms in which the hams are ripening for up to 24 months and Luciano shows us a thin layer of mould growing and flourishing on top of the hams. “It is like cheese”, he says while taking a piece and tasting it, “it is this mould that gives the right flavours to the ham”. When his father started, production was still done in "vernaia". New hams were produced only during the cold months, taking advantage of the frigid winters. The pig legs were moved one by one between canteens in winter, for the cold part of the ripening, to the attic in summer, for the warm part of the ripening. Then the climate started to change and winters only rarely reached temperatures low enough to use this method. When cold cells started to become available, Luciano remembers how initially his father and he hesitated to adventure into a procedure that at the time was considered experimental. Then Luciano decided to give it a try. It took him some years to get the right approach, but eventually he managed. In today’s climate it would be impossible to produce differently. Whenever an order is made for pre-sliced ham, Luciano and his staff cut it and package it on the spot. We asked him how long the sliced ham would stay fresh, even outside of the fridge. Luciano smiled and told us: “When I was young I spent a year in military training. I took lots of bags with me. We simply kept them in a locker and they were still great after four months!”.