"Ago d'Osso di Cavallo" Authentic Horse Bone Needle from Parma with Italian Leather Case

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"Ago d'Osso di Cavallo" Authentic Horse Bone Needle from Parma with Italian Leather Case

95.00 125.00

At the end of the curing process of a Parma ham a fundamental examination of the olfactory senses is made. In this phase of the aging process the needle is used to penetrate various points of the muscle. The use of the "Ago di Osso di Cavallo", horse bone to construct a needle is a material that has the particularity to absorb the aromas of the product and then repeat with great rapidity. The aroma left on the needle is 'sniffed' by experts trained to recognize and evaluate the olfactory characteristics of the ham to determine the performance of the manufacturing and aging process, and to respect the peculiar sweetness.

This is truly an amazing product we were able to import directly from a small village outside Parma. They are completely hand-made and sanded by Nonna herself, and here in the United States is a hard item to come by. We were able to import a very small amount of them, so if you'd like one of these unique Prosciutto testers you will have to get it soon!


Each needle is hand-made, and very unique. Every needle has natural variation, but is functionally made the same.

This is a fragile product!

Do NOT insert the needle too hard or you risk breaking the bone. Given the nature of this product it is non-refundable, and if you break the needle by getting it stuck on dried skin from inserting the needle to far...

It is advised by the Consorzio NOT to wash the needle heavily, but to quickly sanitize as they can soak up aroma easily.

Do NOT wash in the washing machine after use!

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How to use

The insertion of the needle should be done at the point of contact between the lean and the fat. The point where the fat and the muscle begins always works, and is the point at which any discharge showing its internal problems will surface. 

Do not go down too deep, or it may cause damage to the ham! it is sufficient to introduce it to about one centimeter.


The five key points to "taste"

Adapted from Marco Fornasari of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma

Point #1: in the crown (or stem), where there is the articulation of rot in place, the smell is nauseating. It is only at this point, also, that you feel if the ham is sweet or salty, in relation to the so-called "heat". If it is as a kind of "warm scent", the ham is sweet; If the needle is cold, the ham is salted. A salty ham is never scented. 

Point #2: in the "fiocco" just above the nut, roughly at the junction of the femoral vein and artery called "Illica". If the thigh was not well drained and blood has dried there you with smell a rotten smell.

Point #3: about two centimeters to the left of the "nut", in correspondence with a dimple. At this point a lot of moisture may stagnate. This is the most sensitive to drying. The microbial loads proliferate where there is moisture. The defects of the ham are born outside, where there is concentrated wet mass. If the ham is not dried properly, the defect part from the nut and, following all the bone, can undermine almost all the thigh. The "nut" must be light in color: the darker, the more the possibility that at that point the prosciutto was dried badly.

Point #4: under the '"anchetta" far right if it is a left thigh, the left end if it is a right thigh.

Where the "anchetta" is attached, there is an accumulation of fat that usually retain a lot of moisture. If we feel a forming mold and mildew smell, a sign of degeneration is in place.

Point #5: over the anchetta, at artery "Illica" (the femoral vein or artery).

If the artery has not been drained or dried properly, the defect is also here very heavy, because the artery will lead the damage to the whole thigh. Only the most experts here can recognize the defect, because at the time of dispensing the needle one can not even smell. But if the defect exists, then it happens that the needle "run in". If the needle comes out too easily, it means that the residual blood was not coagulated.

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