Why should I buy La Quercia dry-cured meats?
First and most important, because they are delicious! Top food and restaurant critics say our prosciutto is better than any Italian prosciutto you can get in the USA and compare it favorably to the very best Italian and Spanish dry-cured hams.
We use only pork that is humanely raised with deep bedding and access to the outdoors, without non-therapeutic antibiotics (most are never given any antibiotics at all). We can make traceable and verifiable animal husbandry claims.
La Quercia whole muscle meats are made with only pork, sea salt, and spices – no nitrates, no nitrites, no vegetable substitutes.
We make our dry-cured meats in the United States with pork raised on nearby Iowa and Missouri farms, thus minimizing our carbon footprint.
Are your products gluten free?
All of our products are gluten free with the exception of our salamis which contain dextrose.
Do you have a retail store?
No, the address listed is for aging rooms and not open to the public.
Do your meats need to be cooked?
The traditional dry curing method we use means that everything we make can be eaten cooked or uncooked. Our prosciutto, speck, coppa, and lomo are customarily eaten thinly sliced with no further elaboration. Most people prefer to cook the pancetta and guanciale, but they are also delicious raw.
Do your meats need to be refrigerated?
All of the cured meats we sell online are shelf-stable and can be shipped without refrigeration. We recommend that you store your meats in the refrigerator once they arrive to preserve the flavor and texture over the long-term but it’s not a food safety concern. This is especially true of our pre-sliced meats.
They do not need to be chilled when serving and in fact taste better when at room temperature.
How should I use La Quercia meats when cooking?
Our meats are dry cured, so they are much dryer than fresh meat. The fattier cuts like pancetta and guanciale can be exposed directly to the heat, but not for too long. Lean cuts like prosciutto, speck, lomo, lonza, and coppa will be better if you baste them with pork fat, olive oil or butter before exposing them to direct heat. When baking, we recommend that you include them inside lasagna, a casserole, an involtini, bread, etc. When using them on a flat bread or pizza, we recommend that you put them on after cooking. Direct and prolonged exposure to high heat can lead to overly dry or salty meats, so treat them gently. Check out our serving suggestions and recipe ideas.
Do you still sell bacon?
Our bacon has been discontinued but our partner brand Vande Rose Farms offers superb bacon.
Here is a link, if you are interested. We can't recommend it enough!
What is the shelf life of your meats?
Whole pieces in intact packaging will keep for at least a year refrigerated or stored in a cool dry location. Pre-sliced meats that are vacuum sealed have a shelf life of one year.
How should I store the piece or package after I open it?
The meat should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator. Exposure to air will cause the meat to dry out and the fat to oxidize, so you want to minimize that. Tightly wrapped and refrigerated, even sliced meats will keep 10 days or more in the refrigerator. Whole pieces keep even longer. You can freeze these meats if you wish.
What if a whole piece gets some mold on it?
Small amounts of grey or white mold are harmless and can be removed with a knife or a damp cloth. You can wipe the piece with a cloth dampened with diluted vinegar.