Ancient Localism, Iowa-Style:
Herb and Kathy Eckhouse started La Quercia based on observation: In Italy, prosciutto and other cured pork products are made right there on the farms and in the towns where the pigs are raised. Why couldn't the same be done in Iowa
? The Midwest may lack the historic culinary depth of Italy, but Iowa was home to plenty of well-raised and even heirloom breed pigs.
Working with local pig farmers, La Quercia sources antibiotic- and hormone-free pork. Some of their products are from organic pork, and many are from 100% Berkshire
or Berkshire-Cross breeds. The farms they work with, and those farms' animal husbandry practices, are all laid out on the company website
Domestic Prosciutto Worth Seeking Out:
La Quercia uses only pork, sea salt, and in some cases spices (plus air and time) to make their products. No artificial cultures, lactic acid, or nitrates are ever used. The resulting prosciutto is rich, luscious, and full-flavored. Pancetta, guanciale, spiced prosciutto, speck (a smoked prosciutto-like ham), and spicy coppa fill out their product line.
Find a store that carries La Quercia or order directly.