Prosciutto, the most popular dry cured pre-packaged meat, according to IRI data, translates to ham in Italian. It is made only from the hind legs of pigs and is aged during a dry-curing process. There are two types of prosciutto: cotto and crudo.
Prosciutto cotto is cooked ham. It is bright pink in color and lighter in flavor than the crudo form. This prosciutto is slowly cooked at controlled temperatures, then cut into tender, moist slices. Sometimes prosciutto cotto is seasoned or brined with herbs and spices.
Prosciutto crudo is never cooked, as the name suggests (crudo means raw in Italian). Seasoned and dry-aged to perfection, it has a deep red color and is marbled with streaks of flavorful fat. Prosciutto crudo should be sliced paper thin. It is delicately sweet yet intensely salty and flavorful, all while melting in the mouth. It is this meat driving retail sales of specialty meats, including snack packs and charcuterie boards.
Various salamis follow in popularity. Then comes pepperoni and other cured sausages.