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where to buy the best prosciutto?

Ruth Lafler Apr 26, 2007 01:51 PM

I just offered to make prosciutto-wrapped aspargus for my mom's birthday picnic. Where can I buy the good stuff in the East Bay (or Ferry Building)?

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    teresalynne RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 26, 2007 01:58 PM

    I would try Market Hall in Rockridge - in the Pasta Shop (there is also one on 4th St. in Berkeley). Another option is Genova down on 51st and Telegraph, or any AG Ferrari. All of these places should provide pretty good options for you.

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 26, 2007 02:00 PM

      Mastrelli's in the Ferry Building has top-quality San Daniele. Might be cheaper places to get it.

      Sometimes Costco has top-quality stuff in this weird boneless, individual-slice package. Unbeatable price if they've got it.

      Personally, for asparagus, I prefer Hobbs.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        bernalgirl RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 26, 2007 02:10 PM

        Ruth, this may not be worth the drive/BART ride but Lucca on Valencia recently started carrying San Daniele prosciutto.

        And I know Market Hall in Rockridge carries Hobbs.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 26, 2007 02:46 PM

          What distinguishing marks should I look for on the Costco packages?

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            Robert Lauriston RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 26, 2007 05:47 PM

            Brand is Citterio. It's an odd rectangular plastic tray. The slices are separated by little sheets of plastic. Here's a photo:

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 26, 2007 08:49 PM

              Thanks, Robert. I think I've seen that at TJ's, too.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                grocerytrekker RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 26, 2007 10:13 PM

                I did a TJ's prosciutto mini blind tasting. (3 brands)

                The overall favorite was a prosciutto di Parma (#3 in the picture "Beretta") - sweet, fine-textured, almost elastic and moist. Not bad! This one comes with individual sheets of plastic.

                Volpi (first picture) was also good, drier and thinner. I think this was much cheaper. One person actually preferred this one. It comes with individual sheets, too, and I don't think they were plastic (paper?). A good value.

                #2, a German brand, didn't taste like prosciutto, really - more of a salty, rough-textured sliced ham resembling prosciutto. The bag was hefty, no papers separating them, either. Cheap, but I would use it for something else, if at all.

                I wish I had more brands from other stores to test. Next time.

                1. re: grocerytrekker
                  lexdevil RE: grocerytrekker Apr 26, 2007 10:20 PM

                  I like the Beretta at TJ's the best as well. It somehow avoids the rubberiness of many of the vacuum packed, pre-sliced prosciuttos. It's a bit dryer than others, which I like. My experience w/ the Costco Citterio was a bit negative...I found it stringy and difficult to eat. That was, however, a few years ago, and it could easily have been a quirk of the package I tried.

                  1. re: grocerytrekker
                    Ruth Lafler RE: grocerytrekker Apr 26, 2007 10:41 PM

                    Ah, yes. I was thinking of the Volpi. Thanks for the info.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston
              farmersdaughter RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 26, 2007 09:07 PM

              Do you know if the Citterio is prosciutto di Parma?

              1. re: farmersdaughter
                Nancy Berry RE: farmersdaughter Apr 27, 2007 08:12 AM

                Citterio, an Italian company, has a plant in Pennsylvania. They sell three prosciutto products in the United States, prosciutto made in Pennsylvania (both bone-in and boneless) and Prosciutto di Parma.


                1. re: farmersdaughter
                  Robert Lauriston RE: farmersdaughter Apr 27, 2007 08:21 AM

                  The one I've bought at Costco has been Parma.

              2. farmersdaughter RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 26, 2007 02:56 PM

                In the Ferry Building also check Golden Gate Meat Company. They carry good prosciutto (I've seen both Parma and San Daniele) but I don't know how their prices compare to Mastrelli's.

                1 Reply
                1. re: farmersdaughter
                  Laura2 RE: farmersdaughter Apr 26, 2007 07:02 PM

                  Does anyone know anyplace that sells Tuscan prosciutto, less sweet and more salty than San Daniele and Parma? I'd love to find some around here. I've looked in all the obvious places, AG Ferrari, Lucca, etc.

                2. rabaja RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 26, 2007 11:40 PM

                  I just got some today at Lucca on Chestnut St in SF. I was encouraged after viewing the first slice, but am now afraid it's a little thick on the latter layers. It's Parma and was about $6.50 for a quarter pound.
                  Wish I'd known a better place to pick it up, hard to tell who knows how to slice it these days. I'm a bit hesitant to believe anyone at the Ferry Building would do it well...
                  Whole Foods maybe, but also a bit of a crap shoot.
                  Will report back after I've tasted it!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rabaja
                    SteveG RE: rabaja Apr 27, 2007 12:48 PM

                    The new DeLessio attached to Falletti's market at Oak and Broderick often has good prosciutto, and they take their slicing seriously. They almost insist that you try the first slice so you know if it's the thickness you want. It doesn't cost them anything, because they won't sell you the first slice or two they take because those are oxidized. Prices aren't the best, but the quality is always high. They also have a wonderful truffled ham, maybe from France.

                    The best prosciutto I've had in San Francisco came from a freshly opened package at whole foods--we just lucked out and were the first ones to get slices and it was tender, succulent, and wonderful. The opened it up and cut a big thick slice off the end clear through to solid meat beneath the fat cap, and it was glorious.

                  2. Paul H RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 27, 2007 09:00 AM

                    Palermo and Molinari in North Beach are both very good sources. They usually have both San Daniele and Parma. And they will slice it any thickness you want.

                    1. w
                      wally RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 27, 2007 10:18 PM

                      Cafe Rouge has Parma. They also know how to slice.

                      1. Ruth Lafler RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 27, 2007 10:22 PM

                        Thanks, all! I ended up going to Genova (since there were some other things I needed I could also get there). They carry both domestic prosciutto and prosciutto de Parma for 24.99/lb. The young man helping me actually went and got one of the old guys from the back to slice it for me, along with some imported Italian coppa.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          Robert Lauriston RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 28, 2007 08:24 AM

                          The old Italian guys are in the back? I thought they'd retired.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 28, 2007 06:07 PM

                            No, a few of them are still around. I always see at a least one guy who's been there forever (I've been going there for over 40 years).

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