The Best Way To Serve Prosciutto On A Charcuterie Board For More Pleasant Bites

For such an aesthetically beautiful cold-cured meat, prosciutto is loaded with a bunch of naturally stringy fat. It's fine — you can say it. Anyone who's ever assembled or snacked on a charcuterie board before knows it to be true. You got all dolled up for this dinner table, and now, your teeth are packed with meat strings like Mary Poppins' bottomless tapestry bag, and you're excusing yourself from the table to run off to the bathroom and rifle through the medicine cabinet for floss (please, God, there has to be some floss in here). In any culinary arena, part of preparing a successful dish is familiarizing yourself with your ingredients, and if you know that long strips of prosciutto are tough to eat, then take an extra step to mitigate the challenge and slice them into smaller bite-sized segments.

Those long, paper-thin strips that come packaged in the grocery store are sliced from a large salt-cured pig leg. This massive leg is cut into those familiar long prosciutto slices using a long-bladed knife, cutting along the entire length of the leg. It's no wonder, then, that the buttery prosciutto strips foodies know and love are so long and fatty — that's the appeal. Butchers even have to slice against the grain to properly free the prosciutto from the leg. But, as such, it's worth it to give those scrumptious strips another slice for aperitivo serving.

Less is more when it comes to prosciutto

Smaller bites are easier for guests to chew, look neater visually, and depending on how you arrange them, physically occupy more space on your charcuterie board, creating the illusion of more prosciutto. In addition to utility, slicing up your prosciutto is also an exercise in economic budget-stretching. Prosciutto is not an inexpensive ingredient. At a Seattle Walmart, a 6-ounce pack of Del Duca dry-cured prosciutto contains roughly 10 strips and runs for $7.78. Unsliced, that's about $0.77 per mouthful. Slice those bad boys up and get a little more mileage for your buck. Halved, that makes for 20 bites at $0.39 each — a little better.

To do it, slice your prosciutto strips into three or four segments, cutting horizontally with a very sharp knife. It might not be the most glamorous technique, and it might require some sawing, but your guests will thank you for doing the work with the knife that they would have had to do with their teeth.

For the ultimate charcuterie board, keep it regional and pair your prosciutto with Parmigiano Reggiano. The sweet, sharp, salty meat would also be complemented by chunks of overripe cantaloupe, fresh plums, apricots, goat cheese, truffle honey, crispy asparagus spears, orange slices, burrata, spiced olives, Pecorino Toscano, cornichons, crostini, and fig jam — plenty of varied bites to create with your bite-sized slices.