Franco and Carlo Pernigotti follow the tradition: the recently built new plant, where all the processing is handmade, is designed to enable a limited traditional production, which allows to follow the tradition of manually salting the hind legs with an intravenous injection: the most important secret in obtaining quality hams. The method used by the Pernigotti family consists in injecting the hind leg intravenously with a combination of water, salt and natural flavorings, which allows the brine to spread evenly in the tissues through the capillary vessels, preventing the muscle fiber from being damaged, hence assuring the quality of the end product. Once selected the hind legs of heavy pigs, weighing on average between 180 Kg and 190 Kg, the procedure involves salting them by intravenous injection, then immersing them in brine for about 200 hours.
The industrial procedure, on the other hand, consists in using an automatic device to inject the brine directly in the meat. Afterwards the hind legs are processed with an automatic massaging machine. The 30 hour process allows salt absorption through the muscular fiber and could damage the tissues after the immersion in brine, the hind legs are de-boned by hand, put in moulds and baked. Baking time is about 1 hour per kilo at a maximum temperature of 80°C.
Once the hams are ready, they are stored in a cooling room for about 48 hours, then vacuum-packed. The superior Gran Cotto Pernigotti is now ready to be enjoyed. The brine does not contain polyphosphates which could compromise the wholesomeness and naturalness of the product. The production cycle does not involve the use of ingredients often present in industrial processing, such as milk proteins (lactose, casein, skimmed or powder milk) and gluten, which are increasingly the cause of food allergies.