The hills on which Bassiano stands, on the Lepini Mountains, represent an ideal place for the ageing of ham. In fact, there are numerous pedoclimatic conditions that give a strong characterisation to the product: the right degree of humidity, necessary to obtain a balanced maturation of the product, the altitude and the presence of the mountains sheltering the town from the sirocco and north winds.
Traditional production starts with a careful selection of pigs, coming exclusively from Italian farms. The legs are first trimmed with the tip of a knife, then seasoned with a typical sauce made of white wine and garlic. The following step is the “dry” salting of the hams, done manually. The hams are then subjected to a double covering of the pulp, in order to seal it, with a mixture of lard, salt, chili pepper and rice flour. The process ends with a light smoking with beechwood and slow seasoning.
Numerous generations in Bassiano have grown up eating what is still called “lòncio”, a ham sandwich. The use of this term, a dialectal transposition of English lunch, used by American soldiers in the territory during World War II, shows that hams are produced since then. For fifty years, on the last Sunday in July, a historic festival celebrates this food excellence.
The Prosciutto di Bassiano, in which the rind is trimmed up to the joint and which is aged up to 18 months, has a uniform red-pink colour in the lean meat and white-pink fat with good veining. The high olfactory intensity is marked by pronounced notes of seasoned meat, garlic and spices combined with hints of wine and, for the smoked version, of beechwood. The taste is harmoniously salty and savoury, with a discreet sweet note and a light sour note. Good chewiness and aromatic persistence.