The ham is almost as old as Italian cuisine itself with the earliest references to Prosciutto di Parma dating back all the way to Roman times around 100 BC. The ham has a very strict certification. By law it can only be produced in the gently rolling countryside surrounding the city of Parma in north central Italy. The ham must use Italian-born and bred pigs raised according to the highest standards on which they are monitored, inspected and traced.
Once the ham is ready to be cured, a highly experienced maestri salatori (aka salt master) applies a minimal amount of sea salt necessary to produce a ham with the desired savory-sweet flavor profile. This is also the reason why Prosciutto di Parma tastes less salty than other ham varieties. At the end of the curing process, every leg of Prosciutto di Parma is checked for quality and then fire branded with the five-pointed Parma Crown, signifying its guarantee of authenticity and quality.
In the above video, Pirolo makes one of the dishes he prepared at this special Prosciutto di Parma dinner and shares the back story of why tortellini are shaped the way they are.