Prosciutto di Cinta Senese owes its sweet, slightly gamey flavor, oily fat and aroma to the heritage Italian breed of pig called “Cinta Senese” used to make the prosciutto. The pigs are raised in the open where they can feed, as they once did, on tubers, roots, truffles, sweet acorns from oak trees, and bitter acorns from holm-oak. The prosciutto is made using traditional techniques and is influenced by the local climactic conditions, especially in the aging process.
This breed was at risk of extinction immediately after World War II because the pigs are lighter than other breeds and due to the difficulties involved with breeding them in semi-wild environments. Thanks to the dedication of a few breeders, the Cinta Senese is still around today. The name of the breed comes from the cinta (belt) of light hair that wraps around the center of their body. The meat is dry and lean, but full of flavor. Prosciutto made from Cinta Senese captures the unique flavor of the meat.