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I am slowly working my way through a Parma ham, which is
one of humanity's finest achievements. The back leg of a pig
(in this case, the left one, as it happens) is wreathed in sea-
salt for several weeks, air-dried for several more, sealed with
lard, and then aged for three years. By the end
process, it is unimaginably dense, salty, and tangy and a deep
dusky plum in colour. Most amazingly at all, it has spent most
of it's post-ambulatory life at room temperature and yet
remains entirely safe to eat. No nitrates, no cooking, no
It occurs to me that beef would respond well to this
treatment. The back leg of a cow is somewhat bigger than
that of a pig, and so might take 5-8 years to mature fully, but
would work better for those with large appetites. If the
flavour of 5-week-aged beef is anything to go by, the flavour
of 8-year-old Parma beef would be too wonderful for words.
I know, you're about to say something about beef jerky. Well,
that would be the equivalent of shaving a thin slice off a pig,
drying it for a few hours and then eating it. Nothing remotely
palatable. Parma beef - it has to be done.
"air-dried, salted beef (but also horse, venison and pork) that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple color. originated in Valtellina, a valley in the Alps of northern Italy's Lombardy region" - not too many stonesthrows from Parma. [zen_tom, Jul 04 2019]
Obligatory You Don't Eat A Pig Like That All At Once
[theircompetitor, Jul 10 2019]
||Fine, we'll do a vegetarian version. 325lb of potatoes left in a
cellar for 8 years. You have no soul.
||//325lb of potatoes left in a cellar for 8 years// Vodka.
||Gonna refer to that bottle of Stoli as 'Parma potatoes', as in: 'What did you have for supper tonight?'
||As with Champagne, Parma would only refer to cattle from the Parma region otherwise they would just be known as Sparkling Beef.
||There are a lot of three-legged pigs limping around Parma.
I'm not sure if cattle would tolerate the amputations so well,
but I suppose it would make them easier to push over while
they were sleeping.
||Why stop at beef?
||//You have no soul// Have you?
||I'm fairly sure what you're describing is called
Bresaola - the Parmarised version of Carpaccio.
||Also, interestingly per [ConsulFlaminicus]'s point,
this stuff is produced in Italy's Apline region, so
conceivably, the cows (as long as they're facing the
appropriate direction) may be able to remain upright
on the local slopes and continue to enjoy a full and
enriching life, long after the procedure is complete.
||Hmmm. Bresaola looks close. I shall have to investigate.
However, it seems to lack the whole-leggedness of Parma
||I wonder how well this process would apply to the new
||//new vegetarian meats// We've tried hanging a piece of
Quorn Chicken in a damp cellar for five months. A desperate
rat ate the string, left the Quorn.