DID YOU KNOW? PROSCIUTTO IS HUNG during its 3rd phase of curing which is: DRYING. YES you will encounter this process in a small restaurant like this one in my hometown (Udine). AND YES, that is my Mom looking up at it 😊.
SO WHY THE HANGING? To keep away the moist and eliminate excess fat. Process that needs to happen in dry and dark places. The excess fat slides towards the bottom of the prosciutto leg, which is the first area that will be sliced and the most flavorful. BUT NO WORRIES! FAT WILL NOT DRIP OVER YOUR HEAD!
In fact it is contained in the pork rind that is wrapped around the prosciutto. The elimination of moisture ensures it a long shelf life even at room temperature, which is also why in Italian Grocery Stores you see the prosciutto on a shelf and not in a refrigerated compartment (unless its pre packaged) exposed to the store temperature, which is obviously cool enough already.
WHEN MAKING FOOD is ART!