The Parma ham tasting is an experience that embrasses all senses and first of all must be based on an excellent product.
It is there for important to observe the colour of the ham, that has to be slightly pink and even in the lean part, and white in the fat, and verify the right proportion between these two elements, that determine the process of maturation.
The presence of little white spots, known as amino acid crystals,indicate very mature ham.
The slice should be presented in a slightly curved way so texture and fatness can be easily evaluated; must not be sticky as this indicates an inadequate curing.
The olfactive sensation should leave an aroma of cured meat, spices and, in very mature hams, even nuts. The sensation of fresh meat, cheese or moldness are to be considered low quality indicators.
The taste must be a perfect combination of flavour and sweetness, soft enough to enhance foodwise combinations such as homemade bread, or daring with exotic fruit.