S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

La Quercia Prosciutto

Yesterday, a prosciutto factory was born in Norwalk, Iowa, just south of Des Moines. There's not a lot of prosciutto made in the U.S., and not a lot of prosciutto made outside of the Parma-region in Italy tries to maintain the ham's natal high standards. Herb Eckhouse founded La Quercia in order to do just that: make Parma-quality prosciutto from organic Iowa pork. And yesterday was the opening party for his prosciutto factory.

The story goes back a little further than that. The Eckhouses moved to Parma around the time I was in middle school, back when Herb worked for Pioneer. They lived there for a number of years before coming back to the neighborhood. In 2000, they founded La Quercia, working closely with Parma producers and Iowa pork growers (at Niman Ranch), as well as importing Parma-produced prosciutto. Many of their customers are high-end restaurants, but a number of Iowa grocery stores and other midwest specialty stores carry their product too.

Now that La Quercia has its own dedicated factory, they'll be making their own Prosciutto Americano, due to be on the market by September. If I'm lucky, I might be able to visit it next time I'm home.

Related Links:
La Quercia Artisan Cured Meats.
Des Moines Register editorial on the factory opening.
A mention in Pork Magazine.
Tags: eating in des moines, food
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