High quality cured meats are like high quality artisanal wines – they begin with relatively few, exceptional ingredients that are left in the hands of a well-skilled craftsman. Time passes, and voilà–the outcome is something special!
If only it were that simple. Herb and Kathy Eckhouse make it seem easy. They founded La Quercia and work in all aspects of the business: selecting and buying pork, salting, trimming, and handling hams. A couple of years ago they introduced the Organic Green Label Prosciutto – made with Berkshire cross, pasture-raised, certified organic pork from Becker Lane Organic Farm, a sixth generation Iowa farm. The Green Label Prosciutto is so exceedingly good that it was the only prosciutto declared a winner of a Good Food Award in the entire country! We’re offering this for a limited time, for $29.99/lb instead of the regular price of $39.99/lb.
The La Quercia folks put out an awesome movie about making prosciutto in Iowa; love the line about how they “look at Iowa, and see Italia”:
Their green business practices go far beyond the green label. Kathy and Herb are committed to doing their part in making sustainable business choices and reducing their carbon footprint. Here’s how:
• They buy their meat on a sustainability basis—it’s not sustainable agriculture if the suppliers go out of business! They work with them on a cost-plus basis, independent of pork commodity prices (which are now extremely low).
• They opened “Prosciuttificio La Quercia” in February, 2005, with energy efficient materials and the latest, “greenest” refrigerant.
• They’ve been able to focus their meat supply, so that all of our meat comes from slaughter houses within 200 miles of their prosciuttificio. Most of the pigs are raised within that radius also.
• They’ve landscaped using low maintenance prairie grasses, native flowers and oak trees.
• They eliminated small product stickers on the boxes, are using a stamp (instead of a sticker) for the return address, and eliminated the decorative nets on their Rossa Heirloom Prosciutto, Prosciutto Piccante, and Speck Americano.
• They’ve made packaging choices for their sliced meats with waste reduction in mind.
• They’ve gone to unbleached boxes that have a minimum of 90% recycled content, and they separate and recycle cardboard.