Prosciutto di San Daniele

Our Story


Prosciutto di San Daniele (DOP) is an air-dried and matured ham with Denominazione di Origine Protetta (protected designation of origin or DOP) status awarded because its unique characteristics derive from a special geographical environment with important natural and human factors.

San Daniele del Friuli is the loveliest municipality in central Friuli. Perching on a glacial hill beside the river Tagliamento at the foot of the Carnic Prealps, the town is unique for the way it has conserved its natural conditions.

San Daniele del Friuli is where my grandfather, Giovanni Prolongo, was born into a family that had practised the pork butcher’s art for generations. He learned what is needed to make a good prosciutto as a child. After that, he began gaining experience in companies like Fioretto & Cozzi and Salumificio Vismara.

Thanks to the support of his wife Caterina Bortolotti, Giovanni was able to make his dream of running his own business come true in 1957. He set up Prosciuttificio Prolongo with what today we might call a “company vision”: to make top-quality prosciutto using traditional methods in step with the natural cycle of the seasons.

Since Giovanni’s day, every single Prosciutto Prolongo has ben cosseted from the start of processing. We put quality over quantity. That is why you will find Prosciutto Prolongo in quality-consious restaurants, good food stores, wine shops and delicatesse stores. Select your favorite prosciutto and share it with your family, friends and loved ones. You will enjoy every slice of it.

Prosciutto crudo has an ancient history. The ancient Celts in Friuli knew how to conserve meat by salting and drying it for consumption during their movements. But only at San Daniele del Friuli were conditions ideal for making such a special air-dried ham thanks to a combination of topoclimate and human skills.

It was there, where their grandfather Giovanni began to make his prosciutto – Prosciutto Prolongo – an art that passed to his children, to us, his grandchildren, and now to a third generation. Despite the passage of the years, the procedures are still carried out by hand.They only use pigs bred, born and butchered in Italy. They expect the best raw materials for their prosciutto.

Prosciutto di San Daniele is a completely natural product, salted using only coarse sea salt with no additives or preservatives. The fresh thighs are massaged individually by hand.

The core of ham making at Prosciuttificio Prolongo is natural maturation. The hams hang for many months on wooden shelves in a large, unconditioned room fitted only with a large number of unpaned windows. Time passes slowly, marked by the changing climate conditions outside. Every day, the window shutters are raised and lowered one by one, depending on the day’s weather. This procedure enables us to get the most from the local topoclimate and the two winds from sea and mountains that caress the hill of San Daniele del Friuli. Our hams dry naturally to become perfect Prosciutto di San Daniele.

The next operation is “stuccatura”, a crucial operation in which parts of the thigh not covered by rind are protected with a natural mixture of leaf lard, salt, pepper and flour. The procedure also serves to soften the exposed areas, allowing the meat to breathe. Stuccatura is a delicate operation requiring care and skill and it can only be done by hand, inspecting the thighs one by one.

For the final months of maturation, the hams are moved to the cellar, which has constant temperature and humidity, and very few windows. It is this change of environmental conditions that will bring out all the aromas of a well-matured product.

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