This product is crafted by one of the most historic Portuguese butchershops in the entire USA.
This Portuguese cured ham is similar to Spanish jamón and Italian prosciutto. Presunto is a modern continuation of the ancient tradition of curing meat, a process that protects the nutritional value, flavor, and texture of the original ingredient.
The first written records of the production of cured ham are from a 300BC description by Roman historian Cato the Elder. At the time, the process was somewhat different and included large amounts of salt, which affected the final flavor of the meat.
Since then, the curing, aging, and drying process has been perfected, and the resulting product is highly refined and complex. The production of presunto begins by heavily salting a raw leg of pork. The leg is later washed and left to dry, which allows the salt to distribute evenly throughout the meat.
The leg is then left to dehydrate and age for months until it achieves the right texture, moisture, and aroma. The earliest evidence of presunto dates back to Roman times, however the Phoenicians are believed to have been the first to bring pigs to the Iberian peninsula.
These pigs later interbred with the native wild boars, resulting in the modern-day Black Iberian pig. There are many different varieties of presunto, but the most prized version is made from this variety of pig, which is raised on large fields and fed only acorns, wild herbs, and roots.
Presunto is an incredibly versatile ingredient—it can be consumed on its own or incorporated into numerous dishes, though it is usually served as an appetizer alongside other cured meats, cheeses, bread, and a variety of vegetables.