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Friuli ham

A pleasure for your nose, a pleasure for your mouth.

In Friuli Venezia Giulia we can praise good cuisine and many typical products: Montasio cheese that is the main ingredient for ‘frico‘ (one of the typical dish in Friuli), San Daniele and Sauris prosciutto crudo (raw ham), the many Slow Food excellences…

In a future post I am going to talk you more in detail about Slow Food products of Friuli Venezia Giulia, but today I want to focus on ham because it is outstanding that a so small region produces in its territory 2 amazing and delicious ham types like San Daniele and Sauris.

Both San Daniele and Sauris are raw ham brands that are different in taste and in the context in which they are produced. Personally I love both and I really appreciate them when their slices are rolled around a ‘grissino‘ or endorsed on a slice of bread.

Ok, my mouth is already watering but I will keep going on telling you about San Daniele and Sauris.

San Daniele raw ham

San Daniele is produced in the city which carries the same name: it is situated in the hills between the plain and the mountains, the sea is only 50 km far and this position is really important to determine the special taste of the ham.

In fact, the special climate which creates in this area, where the flow of air coming from the Carnia Alps and the one coming from the Adriatic Sea mix together, is the one that allows the hams to age correctly giving that unique aroma. That’s not a case that San Daniele raw ham received the DOP identification, this means that only the ham produced in this geographical area could receive the ‘Prosciutto di San Daniele‘ name.

When you eat San Daniele you can taste the typical sweetness of the ham and you can feel like it melts in your mouth. However I can tell you that the best San Daniele is the one you taste in the city of San Daniele del Friuli: I buy it quite often at the supermarket but it is never so good as it is when I go to the city and eat it there.

In San Daniele del Friuli all the restaurants propose you menus based on this ingredient but the best is to order a tray of ham that is usually accompanied by marinated vegetables and local cheese. The best place to taste it is ‘Ai Bintars‘ a typical tavern that is often crowded (so if you want to eat there it is better to book in advance).

Anyway, if you really want to feast with San Daniele ham I suggest you to visit the city in June when ‘Aria di Festa a San Daniele‘ takes place: it is a festival with concerts and stalls where you can eat raw ham in abundance both in the streets of the city centre, and in the plants where prosciutto is made that are specifically open in that days and could also be visited.

Sauris raw ham

Sauris is a little village nestled in the Alps of Carnia, it could be reached through narrow streets and rocky tunnels that hide beautiful landscapes and an area still not touched by mass tourism.

In Sauris the main activities you can do are wandering in the woods, skiing in winter and eating of course. In this small village there are a couple ham plants, the most famous is Wolf, which produce a special kind of raw ham called ‘Sauris‘. It is special because it has a smoky taste which makes it different from any other ham in Italy.

I know that we are talking about ham here, but I just want you to know that many other cured meats are produced here: first of all ‘culatello‘ (the most sought-after Italian cold cut), but also speck, salame, ossocollo and other kind of delicious products that you should absolutely taste.

If you are searching for a good typical restaurant where you can eat this and other mouthwatering excellences of the Friuli Venezia Giulia cuisine you should stop at Ristorante Alla Pace: the warm welcome of the owners and the deliciousness of the dishes will surely leave you a beautiful memory of this part of Friuli.


I'm a Italy lover, mom of two, living in central Italy and I love travelling. I have a degree in Tourism economics and management and now I'm a consultant helping businesses working in tourism.

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