What Is A Varietal?


Just as artisan wine depends for its flavor on the quality of the grapes, artisan cured meat depends on the quality of the meat. We think that aging can bring meat to its highest expression, developing its inherent qualities to showcase what is unique about each breed and its animal husbandry.  We use heritage breeds and traditional techniques to create distinctly American tastes.

La Quercia introduced the United States to its first Prosciutto Varietals — dry cured ham made from specific sources with distinctive breeding and husbandry.  Like fine wine, hand-crafted dry cured pork relies entirely on the quality of its components and the skill of the producer. Ingredients are simple, so they must be carefully selected and attentively prepared.

Traditionally, pigs were cultivated for specific qualities — some for meat, others for lard, still others for their hardiness.  While heritage breeds and farming techniques have mostly been replaced by industrial agriculture, we believe heritage pork offers extraordinary eating.  Breeding influences muscle structure, muscle fiber, water holding capacity, fat quality, and internal meat characteristics — all of which influence the quality and flavor of the cured pork.  We currently offer three Varietals, each made from pork with distinctive genetics.


Read more about the farms and farmers who are helping us revive these breeds here. 




Select From Our Varietals