On a clear, cold spring day, I visited an Iowa family farm where the pig manure fertilizes the fields that grow the corn that is ultimately milled into feed for the pigs. That’s actually a pretty typical scenario in Iowa. But this relatively small farm, which has sows and piglets and finishes about 1,000 Berkshire hogs per year, produces pork that winds up in high-end restaurants and specialty pork products.
Among those meats is the prosciutto from La Quercia, a cured-meat maker in Norwalk, Iowa. Owner Herb Eckhouse walked me through the climate-controlled rooms in the plant, where the salted hams are carefully dried and aged before being sliced and packaged for sale.
Check out the video slideshow to see more about how hogs from Happy Hula Farm in Zearing, Iowa, become La Quercia's prosciutto.