Parma Ham Museum

Parma Ham Museum



2.8/5 Pros

  • Tasting in nearby bar possible
  • Good historic review Cons

  • Too few English texts
  • Topic has much more potential

The area around Parma is almost a holy place for foodie lovers. Parmigiana cheese, tomatoes, pasta – a lot of famous Italian food is coming from the area of the Emilia-Romagna city. Thus, the region has founded a couple of food museums, praising the outstanding quality of the produces and explaining at least the traditional way how to do them. On my trip to the region in June 2021, I unfortunately just had the time to visit one of these places. However, it was likely about the most signature produce named after the city, the Parma Ham. Here are my thoughts about the Parma Ham Museum – or Museo del Prosciutto di Parma, how the locals name it.


Parma Ham Museum – Location & Admission

The museum is located a town called Langhirano, which is some 25 km South of Parma. The area is huge in ham making – you see a lot of manufacturers and factory sales around. Overall, the area felt very nice, but I did not have the time to explore it too deeply. There are not too many touristic facilities around – aprart from the on-site restaurant, which is also used for Parma Ham tasting.

At the time of visiting (and under the impression of Covid-19 travel restrictions), the museum was only open on Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.I guess they have wider opening times when it is non-pandemic. Adult admission was 5 Euro. You can also buy a pass for all Parma Food Museums (Parma Cheese, Pasta, Tomatoes, Parma Ham, Wine, Salami and Porchini mushrooms), which is 12 Euro only. The places are quite widespread, though.


Parma Ham Museum – The Visit

The museum introduces you to classic Parma Ham production and the history of the produce. A vast majority of the texts in the the museum are in Italian only, some basics are in English. There is an audio guide, which you can access via your smartphone. You also learn about about pigs have influenced culture. One of the most interesting exhibits to me has been a touchscreen, which showed how the animal is reflected in stamps, coins, paintings and other parts of life. Of course, the introductory part also gives you information about the parma ham region and which parts of the meat can be used (and lead to different kinds of ham).

At that point, you already passed the first stages of explaining the production – sometimes the structure of the museum was a bit confusing. For example, you are very early introduced into the different kinds of salt used. There are a lot of tools in display and a lot of explanation (in Italian or via the audio guide). About at the middle of your visit, there is a very interesting movie of some ten minutes, which gives you the best impression about traditional Parma Ham making. One of the most interesting sections to me was the section about refrigeration. In the past, Parma Ham could only be produced in the winter months, as you could not cool the product in certain periods sufficiently. Cooling rooms allowed to move it away from a seasonal produce. Last, but not least, there are some paintings about ham at the end of your visit.


Parma Ham Museum – Services

Key part of the museum is of course that there is a bar / restaurant next to it, which offers a ham tasting menu. The prices there were quite high – but there is a good chance that it is still worth it. The museum drives a small souvenir store as well.


Parma Ham Museum – My View

I have been a bit of disappointed. The group of Parma Food museums – and especially the three big ones (ham, pasta and cheese) – have so much potential. The exhibition as such has the right structure and the right intention – but it is really majorly made for the locals to inform about the famous produces? I struggle with that – the level of English explanations is too low and an audio guide cannot really compensate it. Most of the Parma food museums are a bit of remote, so visiting some or all of them is quite some effort. The Parma Ham Museum leaves a doubt whether this is worth it. on Eating & Drinking is not a culinary blog. Nevertheless, here are all posts dealing with Eating and Drinking:


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