Sometimes bones are removed so slicing is made more easy allowing more access to the flesh without the bone interference. This isn’t as easy as you think unless you have a good skill. Removing bones from the pig’s leg is a chore and made mostly by professionals although I’ve tried it.
Basically the Prosciutto is divided into two main parts; Fiochetto the smaller section and the Culatello the grander main part of the rear side of the Prosciutto. There is a tibia bone that separates the Fiochetto from the Culatello what we call gluteus maximus. There is the knee-joint and the femur which is connected to the pelvis. Once the femur is removed you have the ability to slice freely.
There are different ways to approach the leg and slice it. In Klinec’s restaurant/bar in Brda they actually have an all together different approach from the classical Italian way. This pigs thigh is 19kg and they slice it length ways (parallel to the tibia) directly down with the focus on the entire Culatello. In this case the femur and pelvis is removed for easy access and hand slicing – interesting cutting approach.
At La Subida they are expert and well versed in local prosciutto. Slicing by knife adapts itself to the variations of the form of the prosciutto’s meat. The knife follows the natural disposition of meats fibers when hand cut and is certainly one of the best ways to enjoy it in our view.
When cut by a machine the blades dislocate the fibers and give a very different (smooth) texture almost blending the fibers together. Obviously machine cut is more practical for restaurant service and that’s a compromise.
RB Designs Prosciutto Stands: http://www.rbdesign.it/