Tagliamento, a natural and important element for the Prosciutto di San Daniele

2 min read

A symbol of "Made in Italy" worldwide, Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP is a gastronomic excellence that, as the name suggests, is closely tied to its place of origin, the town of San Daniele del Friuli. A result of a precise method of production, the production of Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP, regulated by the Production Disciplinary, involves the use of only two ingredients: selected pig thighs and sea salt, along with the important microclimate that characterizes the area near San Daniele del Friuli.

The town is situated in a unique geographical location. Located along the Tagliamento River, halfway between the Carnic Pre-Alps and the Adriatic Sea, the town rests at the base of a morainic hill characterized by a predominantly gravelly soil. Here, the warm, salty breezes coming from the coast meet the cold winds blowing from the northeast. This creates ideal conditions for a constant and gentle ventilation, which is perfect for aging the hams.

Credits: Consorzio Prosciutto di San Daniele

The microclimate of San Daniele del Friuli is strongly influenced and characterized by the presence of the Tagliamento River. With its 170 kilometers in length, the Tagliamento is one of the few rivers in Europe to have retained its characteristic morphology with interwoven channels, which continually change depending on the volume of water and weather conditions. The river alters its course as it penetrates into the ground and then re-emerges suddenly, giving rise to a unique ecosystem.

The Tagliamento also acts as a climatic temperature regulator. It not only regulates the flow of air currents in the town but also the temperature and humidity of the air, keeping the latter at optimal levels for the ham’s aging process.

Credits: Consorzio Prosciutto di San Daniele

This strong connection between the product and the territory is so significant that it is mentioned in the Production Disciplinary. Without it, Prosciutto di San Daniele could not develop the aroma and taste that define it. It is not a coincidence that Prosciutto di San Daniele has been recognized as a Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) product by the Italian government since 1970, under law number 507, and as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product by the European Union since 1996.

For these reasons and due to the influence of the Tagliamento River in the production of San Daniele DOP, the Consortium is committed to safeguarding the river. The Consortium has always opposed the creation of invasive structures along the watercourse and promotes the candidacy of the entire river as a UNESCO heritage site.