Great Timing: La Quercia Launches Online Shop

Cured meats from LaQuercia just became easier to obtain, thanks to an online outlet direct from the Norwalk producers.

By Wini Moranville

Just last week, La Quercia, the cured meats producer in Norwalk, began selling their products online, direct from their Norwalk plant. Previously, buyers had to purchase through other online retailers or buy from brick-and-mortar shops.

This is great news for many reasons. First of all, buying direct from La Quercia can be less expensive—a 2-ounce package of their sliced classic Prosciutto Americano that goes for $12 on another site is just $7.49 at laquerciashop.com. The even better news is buying it locally means keeping more of the dollars in the area. The best news? The prosciutto itself is just grand: With its long shelf life and infinite versatility, it’s a terrific item to have on hand while we’re all making fewer trips to the store.

The cured meat’s super-concentrated flavor means that a little goes a long way in recipes. Even so, I asked La Quercia owner Kathy Eckhouse for her tips on making her prosciutto go even further. A few ideas:

• Use as a garnish: “The other night, I tossed some pasta with peas, and put a little prosciutto on the side of the plate, using it as a garnish instead of the main focus,” Eckhouse said.

• Flash-fry it: Eckhouse advises slicing it into thin strips and frying it (she uses olive oil, but a neutral-flavored vegetable oil or butter will do, she says). “Flash frying concentrates the flavor and dries out the moisture,” she explains. Once it’s frizzled, you can sprinkle it on soups, salads or pasta, or fold it into an omelet.

• Prosciutto sandwiches: “I really like butter and prosciutto sandwiches,” Eckhouse says. “They’re so darn easy, and really satisfying. You can make little ones and serve as a small side dish to soups and salads.”

On a personal note, I’m also a huge fan of butter-prosciutto sandwiches. Unlike a lot of deli meats, which require piling them high to get any impact, a couple slices of prosciutto can make an incredibly gratifying sandwich filling. And there’s something about butter and prosciutto that really does the trick.

P.S.: Try Kathy’s super-simple Pasta With Pancetta and Leeks recipe, featured in dsm magazine. You can substitute prosciutto, and while leeks are optimal, onions will do in a pinch. Also, when you’re ordering prosciutto, consider grabbing a tube of ’nduja, a spicy prosciutto spread I wrote about in this past article.

Order cured meats from La Quercia at laquerciashop.com.

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