The Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses Dop
In our prosciutteria, the Jambon de Bosses DOP is served in delicious sandwiches and mixed cheese and ham boards, but it can be also bought in pieces or sliced. Available both in pieces and sliced also the Jambon à la braise of Saint-Oyen (grilled ham); while Motsetta (or dried beef, traditional cold cut from Valle d’Aosta) and Lard douce de Boursa (pork lard flavored with mountain herbs, such as juniper) can be purchased in small pieces.
A bit of history…
The first mention of the Jambon de Bosses dates back to 1397, when for the first time in the accounting of the sales and exchange of the Augustinian monks of the Great St. Bernard appears the voice Tybias Porci: precious pork thighs preserved with salt extracted from the salt mines of Bex, Switzerland. The mineral, non-existent in Valle d’Aosta, was traded in this way: the Augustinians received salt essential to the curing of hams from the neighbors across the Alps and in return sent off the thighs salted with the same salt.
The tradition has been maintained over the centuries …
At the foot of the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard, in Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, having a pig in the house was not the prerogative of the clergy, but it was common practice to own at least one. And it was known that the hams in the Bosses area had a distinctive taste compared to those produced in neighboring areas (even a few hundred meters away); this was due to the peculiar microclimate created by exposure to the current of the Gran San Bernardo and of the Colle Serena as well as the peculiar location of the small village within a forest of larch and fir trees.
To date, inside the De Bosses ham factory, to reproduce the ideal microclimate there are some loopholes that allow environments to maintain the right temperature that makes the Jambon de Bosses so unique. Another essential aspect that gives uniqueness to “King Jambon” is the bed of hay coming from the Bosses fields on which rest the “noble” hams. To make the taste strong but at the same time sweet of the Jambon de Bosses contribute nevertheless numerous spices: pepper, sage, rosemary, garlic, juniper, thyme, bay leaves and herbs typical of the area. Any type of additive, including saltpeter, is prohibited by the provisions on the protection of this ham. Pigs must be not weighing less than 160 kg and more than nine months of age. The ham is salty and spicy dry and aging can reach 30 months.
The De Bosses ham has a very compact form, with a dark red slice, hard and brilliant fat with pink accents, aromatic and intense flavor, slightly salty though with a decidedly sweet bottom. The characteristic of this ham is the boot leg, bent at least 30 degrees. The second Sunday in July in Saint-Rhemy-en-Bosses, the prosciutto or Jambon becomes the undisputed star of festivities in his honor, which last several days and where you can sample the many culinary specialties of the area.
As it becomes ” King “:
Jambon de Bosses DOP therefore is a cured ham produced locally in the small regio of Valle d’Aosta , derived from pigs reared in Valsesia, whose salting holds considerable significance in order to achieve its particular flavor. During the period of salting (18-20 days) using a mixture of sodium chloride crystallized, minced garlic, sage, rosemary, pepper and berries only found on this territory. After the salting, the hams are washed, dried and hung for curing (about 12 months) in a dark, cool and well-ventilated cellars .
Prospects for the future:
Currently, the Borough Council has plans to expand the production of the typical ham, in order to be able to enter a greater number of hams on the market.