The highest raw-ham in Europe
Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses Pdo is a raw-ham salted with mountain herbs, produced at an altitude of 1600 meters in the location bearing the same name, Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, situated in the Gran San Bernardo Valley, at the edge of the Swiss border.
The first documents testifying its production, the Â“Contes de l’Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard", date back to 1397 a.D. and further historical documents follow over the centuries, confirm how renowned this valuable mountain ham is. There are several other references down through the centuries, and they jointly attest to the long-standing importance of Jambon de Bosses in the culture and tradition of the local people who cherish its unique and inimitable quality.
The characteristic flavour of the ´jambon´, with a seasoning time of at least sixteen months, is due to several factors:
- the skill of the ´curers´ (inherited from father to son),
- the dry climate,
- the juniper, thyme and fine herbs of the valley which endow it with a delicate and aromatic smell,
- the unique exposition at the crossing of air flows descending from mountains MalatrÃ , Citrin, Serena and, last and not least, Gran San Bernardo, which create the ideal Â‘air change’ for seasoning,
- the hay, which surrounding pork’s leg all along its seasoning time, gives it its unmistakable fragrance,
- the micro-production at present time, actually no more than 3000 legs while the smallest raw-ham producer in Italy has an average production around 50-60’000 units.
A Vallée d´Aoste Jambon de Bosses Pdo will weight at least 7 kilos and will be easily recognizable by the leg’s end that must be curved by at least 30°.
The ham is partly flattened by natural methods and shows a string that passes though a hole drilled in the upper curved end of the leg, used to hang it on during seasoning.
The meat tends to have a wine-red colour and a fibrous texture. The external casing of fat is shiny and hard and sometimes tinged with pink. The taste of the meat is distinctive, delicate and slightly salty with sweet tinges, aromatic undertones and a gamy nuance. The environmental conditions that determine the taste of the ham include the semi-continental cool-temperate mountain clime, the low level of precipitation, the generous measure of sunlight and the particular geographical position of the Bosses territory.
Due to its many properties the ´Vallée d´Aoste Jambon de Bosses´ obtained the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in July 1996. The ideal occasion to taste this delicacy during Summertime is at Â‘Percorso in rosso’ when the king of the hams invites the excellences of the Valley to a one day testing experience around Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses. But if anyone prefers Wintertime during December some three or four nights are dedicated to Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses Pdo tasting guided by professionals in the incomparable scenario of Bosses Castle and its exhibition.
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