You Can Make Prosciutto Even Better. Here’s How.

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

It’s really hard to improve on prosciutto (preferably with some good cheese and bread, on a picnic blanket in a park somewhere). The Italian cured meat is one of my favorites and I’ll take any excuse to pick up a little from the store. But while it’s hard denying the pleasure of eating it as is, I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy it. I’ve tried (and highly recommend) crisping it to toss with pasta, but just recently I took this salty pork to a whole new level of deliciousness — by candying it.

Why You Should Candy Your Prosciutto

The combination of sweet and salty is always a win, so it’s a no-brainer why this works so well. Prosciutto is tasty because it’s so full of salt and umami, but sometimes those flavors can be a tad overpowering. Add a little sugar to the mix and suddenly there’s a whole lot more balance going on. Your tastebuds are given one serious workout, juggling between all these flavor sensations. It’s a whole new way to enjoy the classic Italian salumi.

How to Candy Prosciutto

It’s super easy to candy prosciutto. Just lay out thin slices on a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper and sprinkle each slice with a little brown sugar — brown sugar gives the prosciutto a richer, more caramelized flavor.

Bake the slices at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are crisp, glossy, and caramelized. Keep a good eye on them as they bake, since the slices can go from candied to burnt quickly.

How to Eat Candied Prosciutto

Then what to do with this prosciutto 2.0? First snack on it straight, while it’s still a little warm and you’re still standing by the oven. Then set out some for friends to munch on when they’re over and sipping wine with you. After that, it’s spectacular crumbled on top of soup, salad, pasta, and risotto. So much better than bacon bits!

Have you every candied prosciutto? If so, how do you like to use it?