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Difference Between Parma Ham & Prosciutto

Updated April 17, 2017

The terms "Parma ham" and "prosciutto" both refer to an Italian-style cured ham, with "Parma ham" being the more Anglicized term. No matter what you call it, prosciutto is a delicious, thinly sliced ham that is used to create some fantastic dishes, like pizza, salad and more.

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Essentially prosciutto and Parma ham are the same. Both terms refer to the same cured ham that originated in the Parma region of Italy and is commonly used in Italian cuisine.

Differentiating the Terms

"Prosciutto" is the Italian word for "ham." And, because "prosciutto di Parma" is one of the most famous types of raw or "crudo" prosciutto, "Parma ham" has become a commonly used term for English speakers.

Process for Curing

The curing process for prosciutto includes salting and pressing the ham for a few months. It is then rinsed and left out to dry in a cool environment. Prosciutto can be aged for up to three months.


Prosciutto, or Parma ham, is typically sliced very thinly. It is a deep, glossy pink colour with streaks of white fat.

Taste & Uses

Prosciutto is known for its rich, salty taste. It is often used in appetizers, salads, pizzas and other dishes.

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About the Author

Erica Sweeney is a freelance writer and editor based in Little Rock, Ark. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her work has been published at SaidIt.org, Arkansas Times, Aging Arkansas and Arkansas Business.

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