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Jamón Gran Reserva vs. Italian Prosciutto are they the same?

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The prociutto, the Italian ham, is a very typical gastronomic product of the bel paese italiano that resembles the jamón serrano but, serrrano ham and prosciutto are the same thing? What is the difference between one and the other? Many people ask this question but, if you want to know everything about the relationship between Gran Reserva ham and Italian prosciutto, pay attention, we’ll explain it to you!

Gran Reserva ham and prosciutto. Their similarities

The cured ham is typical of southern Europe. The two major international producers are Spain and Italy, with their Jamón Gran Reserva and prosciutto crudo respectively. In Portugal, it is also produced the presunto (Portuguese ham) although it is less known, it is also a product of the Iberian Peninsula. If you have tried Gran Reserva ham and prosciutto, you will have noticed that their slices are similar to the naked eye because they both come from the same breed of pig: the white pig. However, they are somewhat different to taste. Both are very rich but each has its own particularities. Let’s see:

Difference between prosciutto and Gran Reserva ham

Jamón Gran Reserva is the typical cured ham from Spain, so you probably already know it. But do you want to find out all about prosciutto? In order to know the differences between serrano ham and prosciutto, it is important to explain a little about the latter.

What is Italian prosciutto?

The word “prosciutto” comes from the Italian word prosciugare which means “to dry well”. This type of curing is done with the hind legs of white pigs that are salted, cured and sometimes even cooked in wine (this would not be cured then). Its manufacturing process can take from nine months to two years depending on the type of prosciutto. The weight of the animal must reach a minimum of 160 kg and the breed of white pig is usually the Large White, Landrance or Duroc. The latter is also used to cross with the 100% Iberian female pig giving rise to our beloved Iberian ham.

italian prosciutto

Italian prosciutto

Jamón Ibérico 5 estrellas Enrique Tomás


As for the origins of production, Tuscany and Emilia, and the most renowned are those of Parma, Fruili-Venezia Giulia and San Daniele.  Of all of them, there is also the protected denomination of origin or similar, here you have the best known:

  • Prosciutto di Parma, Italy, O.P.
  • Prosciutto di San Daniele, Italy, D.O.P.
  • Prosciutto di Modena, Italy, D.O.P.
  • Prosciutto Toscano, Italy, D.O.P.

The first two, the prosciutto di Parma and the prosciutto di San Daniele, are the best known internationally and most probably you must have heard of. Both types are quite similar in appearance, aroma and curing, what varies is the feeding of the animal. The pigs of Parma are even given their famous cheese in the diet. St. Daniele’s has a sweeter taste and its tone is less pink than that of Parma. That said, let’s look at the main differences between prosciutto and serrano ham:

Texture and shape

Prosciutto, especially that of Parma, is sweeter and more humid in the mouth than serrano or Gran Reserva. Gran Reserva is more mature and intense on the palate.
The raw prosciutto is usually partially or completely boned before undergoing the curing process, hence its most crushed form in the shape of bandurria. On the other hand, the serrano can be completely boned, but when the piece is ready to consume. It is understandable that the meat of the prosciutto is more pink and morbid than that of the Gran Reserva.

Feeding and curing

The curing time are usually similar, what varies is the type of salt: more humid in the case of prosciutto and marine in the case of serrano.
For prosciutto di Parma the pig is fed with feed and whey from Parmeggiano cheese, hence the nutty taste of its slices. The serrano, on the other hand, is fed with fodder and cereals.

Prosciutto and Iberian ham

Here the differences deserve another blog post, but we’ll remind you of the most important ones:

  1. Iberian ham comes from a very different breed that is raised only in the Iberian Peninsula and is characterized by being the only one that infiltrates fat in the muscle, ie the Iberian pig.
  2. Depending on the diet, the Iberian pig can be de cebo, bellota or cebo de campo (old Recebo). Prosciutto can only be distinguished according to its origin.

As far as cooking is concerned, we can say that the Italians use their prosciutto more than we use our ham, whether in pastas, pizzas or the famous bruschettas. On the other hand, Iberian ham and Gran Reserva ham are eaten raw or, at most, together with some Sevillian breadsticks or a delicious toasted bread. We also use it to accompany salads, tortilla or scrambled eggs, in soups and creams… Be it serrano, be it Iberian or prosciutto, try them! Enjoy each one in its moment, your moment!

Sliced ham
Tipo de servicio
Sliced ham
Nombre del proveedor
Occitania 45,Badalona,Barcelona-08911,
Telephone No.+ 34 93 383 84 85
Sales Dpt.
To the question: jamón serrano vs prosciutto, are they the same? We clearly say they look alike but they are not the same. We'll explain it to you!

Otros idiomas: Español Français Deutsch Italiano


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