The production of pršut has a very important role for Croatian gastronomic offer, and this is evidenced by the fact that by the number of certified species we stand beside Italy and Spain. While neighbouring Italy leads with six protected species, Spain, like Croatia, can boast of even four types of protected pršut (prosciutto).
Istrian pršut carries the designation of origin and Krk, Drniš and Dalmatian of geographical indication. Every year, dozens of producers present their pršut on "Days of Croatian Pršut", where these indigenous delicacies are graded in two categories, Istrian and Krk in one, and Dalmatian and Drniš in the other.
The difference between the two categories is in the technological process of production. The first two do not pass the smoking phase. In addition, each of the four species, apart from technological process, characterizes specific natural potential. The Istrian pršut is dried without skin, sprinkled with pepper, has a strong red colour, but is soft and moderately spiced. Apart from sea salt and pepper, the Krk version has the addition of herbs, is dried for three months on bura, and it ripens for up to 15 months. On Dalmatian pršut, the skin remains and is intensely salted by sea salt. This version must be smoked. It is similar to the pršut of Drniš, which has slightly shorter smoking phase and therefore has a milder flavour. Apart from salt, it also contains herbs.
The skill of preserving pork meat with salting and drying to Croatia has spread very long ago, still in Old Rome. New generations were taught new ways, and each rural household could boast of its special delicacy. Only half of last century, the production of pršut became official.
Today, about 350,000 pieces are produced annually in Croatia, which is still far below demand. Namely, consumption in Croatia reaches up to 700 thousand pieces, and there is a great potential for spreading the production of indigenous Croatian pršut, and thus additional protection of the gastronomic offer of the Adriatic regions.