Dalmatian Smoked Ham (Pršut) Protected by EU – Try the One from Dugopolje

Total Croatia News

(photo: Domagoj Jakopović / 24sata)

Dalmatinski Pršut (smoked ham) has been added to the EU´s list of Geographical Indications under the CAP quality scheme.this month and together with the Pršut from Krk, Istria and Drniš, and the extra virgin olive oil from Cres, the Mandarin from Neretva, Ogulin sauerkraut and Baranja kulen (susage), it is the 8 product from Croatia to be protected by the European Commision.

According to Narodni-List.hr, the procedure was initiated four years ago at the request of the Association of Producers. The Ministry of Agriculture registered it at the national level and on February 2014, the Ministry sent a request to the EU Commission to protect the Dalmatian Pršut at the EU level.

Only products, which meet specific criteria can carry the label – the Dalmatian Pršut is described as preserved dry-cured product made from a pig´s leg and the bone, skin and fat, with no additives except sea and is to be produced in Dalmatia.

More detailed conditions say, that from the moment of slaughter to the start of salting, must not pass more than 96 hours and not less than 24 hours. The whole process from salting, through drying and ripening has to be done within the Dalmatian area.

And where to taste such an original Dalmatian Pršut? Inland Dalmatia is the right place to look for, especially Dugopolje with its Pršut from the Smjeli producers.

“We make it the same our ancestors did, the natural environment and ideal conditions for the production of the pršut and other cured delicasies,” said Vlade Prančić, owner of the Smjeli company to 24sata on the occasion of opening their store in Zagreb,

Althought they produce several sorts of products, such as ham, bacon, salami and sausages with much care and love, their Dalmatian Pršut is the holder of numerous awards from national and international competitions.

The Dalmatian Pršut of the Smjeli company is smoked and dried naturally, and the strong wind, mild exposure to smoke and the sea salt and the traditional way of ripening gave it a distinctive aroma, mild salty flavour and a reddish colour.

The director of the company, Vlade Prančić, has been interested in the production from an early age. All the knowledge was passed onto him by his father and grandfather, whose nickname was turned into the company name. Their tavern was the most important part of their stone house in Dugopolje and 10-kg pršuts were smoked at the fireplace, then would be transferred under a plain stone and after seven to eight days returned to the smoke again. Pršut in this family was done and eaten after 2 years of smoking and there had to be always pršut and wine in the house. The production process has not changed much, hence the name “Just like in good old days” stated at the Smjeli Dalmatian Pršut.

For a high quality pršut, it is extremely important to have a good pig´s leg, weighing between 14 and 16 kg of fresh meat. Pršut is smoked on dry hornbeam, which has a sweet taste and a little less on beech. Bura (north wind) is very desirable, but not for a long period of time, because it would dry the pršut too much. It is the best, when bura and jugo (south wind) alternate, which is what happens the most in our area,” said Vlade Prančić.


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