Spiking e Fire branding

The classic method to assess the degree and quality of maturation of a dry-cured ham is "spiking". This is done using a shin bone from a horse which, thanks to its uniquely porous nature, retains the fragrance of the meat it is inserted into. Spiking dry-cured ham is done to assess the product's characteristics in the interior. The ham is spiked in 5 crucial points corresponding to the outlets of the internal veins, where any residual blood may give rise to fermentation and defects. The bone must not penetrate too deeply, but is inserted only superficially (to about 2cm) and then sniffed straight away. During the twelfth month of maturation, the Consortium's inspectors carry out spiking to select those hams which can receive the 5-Pointed Crown stamp to become fully-fledged Parma hams. At Galloni's, this operation continues month after month until the hams are fully mature.