5 Reasons Why Prosciutto Tastes Like Blood

My sister called me yesterday and complained about my prosciutto recipe. She followed all the steps, but now the meat tasted like metal.

Well, she is not alone who thinks the whole batch of prosciutto is ruined or the recipe has some fault. But why prosciutto tastes like blood?

There can be several reasons why prosciutto tastes like blood. You have used table salt in the cured meat instead of coarse salt, or the meat is not cooked correctly. Then, there is still blood on the prosciutto. Now, finally, you may have a health condition, etc., leading to a blood-like taste.

Let’s dig deeper into the blood-like taste of prosciutto. Besides, learn how to identify what is actually responsible for the metal-like taste of prosciutto? Catch the details in the following article.

Prosciutto Tastes Like Blood: Why?

prosciutto tastes like blood

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why your prosciutto tastes like blood. It can be the curing ingredients, cooking the meat at the wrong temperature, or maybe it is just you to whom the prosciutto tastes metallic.

Here are the probable answers to why prosciutto takes like blood,

1. Iodized Salts Are A No Go

Iodized salts, a.k.a table salts, are not ideal for making prosciutto. The table salts’ anti-clumping agent makes them runny and gives off a blood-like metallic taste.

Instead of iodized salt, a coarse or kosher salt will offer a better result without messing up the taste of the prosciutto. 

But table salts are not banned from the prosciutto. So you can sprinkle these salts if the dish seems less salty to you. It will not harm the taste, but adding the iodized salts in bulk is a big NO.

2. Not Cooked Yet

Myoglobin can be why your cooked prosciutto tastes a lot like blood. Myoglobin is a protein similar to hemoglobin, and it transfers oxygen into the muscle cells.

This protein will convert the deliciousness of the meat into a metallic taste if not cooked properly. Usually, myoglobin takes longer hours to cook but can be done at a low temperature. Hence, sous vide or immersion circulation is more suitable for cooking prosciutto. 

Cooking the prosciutto at a low temperature but for longer hours is the key to getting rid of the blood-like taste. Next, sear the dish on an air fryer or preheated skillet to eliminate the myoglobin entirely. On the top, air frying will add a crispy texture to the meat.

Some experts advise brining the store-bought prosciutto to get rid of myoglobin. It is because the commercial prosciuttos are not well brined. Hence, soaking the meats in a salt solution will ensure liberal brining.

Afterward, you have to keep the prosciutto in a fridge for 12 hours, uncovered. Later, you can cook the meat after rinsing and drying, and there will be no blood-like taste.

3. Blood On The Meat

Prosciuttos are supposed to be blood-free. But what if the blood is not entirely drained during the curing process? The meat will have the favor of blood.

If the prosciutto contains blood, it will not pass the certified quality on a commercial level.

What will happen if you consume prosciutto blood? Nothing will happen besides the weird taste blast on your palate. In fact, the prosciutto blood is totally safe.

The salts used in the curing process are a natural preservative and slow down the growth of microorganisms. As a result, there is nothing toxic in the blood.

Moreover, water is removed from the cured prosciutto during the processing period. Thus, the bacteria or fungus do not get a suitable moist environment to thrive and harm the blood.

4. Heavy Physical Exercise Before Meal

I know it might sound irrelevant, but our workout intensity has a connection to the blood-like taste of prosciutto. For example, consider a phenomenon like pulmonary edema. 

It refers to the state when your lung leaks a tiny portion of blood due to the increased heart rate and pressure during exercises. Blood leakage raises hemoglobin levels and causes a metallic taste in your mouth. Not to mention the raw taste of prosciutto, which also adds hemoglobin to your mouth.

Hence, if you have prosciutto after intense physical training, it can taste like blood.

Again, other evidence supports that mucous membrane irritation or lactic build-up after an intense workout leads to metallic prosciutto.

5. Alert! A Health Condition!

You can not always blame the prosciutto-making process for the blood-like taste. Sometimes it is your health condition or the drugs you are on.

Medications that include tetracycline, allopurinol, lithium, etc., often make the foods taste metallic. Similarly, diseases like dementia or cold also mess with the recipe’s taste.

How would you know whether your health condition is causing the metallic taste in your palate? Simple. Get someone else to taste the prosciutto and see!

Again, when diagnosed with a disease or prescribed medications, ask the doctor for any probable side effects. It is not impossible that the drugs have messed up your palate and the prosciutto now tastes like blood.

Can Prosciutto Go Bad?

Can Prosciutto Go Bad

Prosciutto can definitely go bad if you store it wrong. Usually, sliced prosciutto lasts for a few days, and the whole meat can be preserved for months, maintaining vacuum sealing in a freezer.

Surprisingly, this preservation time of prosciutto is longer than other processed meat. For example, if vacuum-sealed, these cured meats will last 2 years.

But once you open the seal, the shelf life decreases to a few weeks. However, upon proper refrigeration, you can preserve prosciutto for months.

Generally, it is better to finish the opened prosciutto slices within 2 – 4 days. Then, wrap the pieces and freeze, maintaining a proper temperature if you get leftovers. Though prosciutto lasts for weeks, it is not applicable everywhere.

Any single mistake in storing can rot your prosciuttos. Eventually, the moisture content and other environmental factors will provoke bacterial growth in the meat. 

The best way to detect rotten prosciuttos is to use your eyes and nose.

Look for any sign of molds or discoloration on the meat. Usually, the prosciuttos have a deep pink shade, which can sometimes be brown or red. You will also notice a marbled white fat running through the fresh streaks.

Do not eat the prosciutto if it does not match the color shade. Generally, rotten cured meat has a green or black tint.

Your nose is another weapon to detect bad prosciutto. Throw the meat away if it has a sour or bitter odor.

Fresh prosciutto is supposed to smell porky and salty with a hint of sweetness. So get a sniff of the meat and think about what the smell resembles. 

Also, the bad or expired prosciuttos have a dry texture and do not offer the same deliciousness as the regular ones.

Though you can not stop prosciutto from going bad, you can definitely increase its shelf life. All you have to do is to vacuum the bag. Then seal it after tightly wrapping the meat, ensuring no gap.

You can try the same with your leftovers and enjoy them within a week. But it is always better to cut the prosciutto according to the requirement. Do not go for the big chunk if you are not ready to eat it. Instead, cut thin slices to avoid waste.

What Does Bad Prosciutto Taste Like?

If you experience a metallic taste in the prosciutto, blame the curing process. The meat has not gone bad. However, rotten prosciutto should taste sour and sting your palate badly. 

Generally, cooked prosciutto is delicious and mouth-watering. When you take a bite of this meat, you will get the salty curing flavor with a perfect hint of sweetness. Also, a blast of seasoning will make you crave more prosciutto.

Hence, if you feel like throwing up, the prosciutto might be gone bad.

What Does Bad Prosciutto Smell Like?

A freshly cooked prosciutto has a sweet and salty smell. The added seasonings will spread a nose-tickling scent of herbs and spices. But if the prosciutto goes bad, you can say goodbye to these porky and harm-like smells.

Instead, the bad prosciuttos spread a foul odor, somewhere between bitterness and acidic. Once I heard someone referring to this nose-searing scent as cat shit, and I couldn’t agree more. The rotten prosciuttos smell so bad that you can not even chew them for long and might throw them out.

Why Does Meat Taste Like Metal To Me?

Why Does Meat Taste Like Metal To Me

If cured meat tastes like metal, the processing or the ingredients are to blame. Sometimes the blood stains do not wash off thoroughly and cause a metallic taste later.

The salts you use for curing the meat also influence the taste. For example, coarse salts enhance the flavor of the prosciutto when cooked. But if you choose to go with table salt, it will release a liquid with a similar taste to metal.

Furthermore, the side dish you are having with the meat may be causing a metal-like taste. Some claim that beef tastes like metal if the cow is fed a high iron diet. Again, keeping the meat in rusty utensils or cleaning it with filthy water also induces a metallic flavor in the dish.

Well, none of these conditions are alarming. But, it becomes a matter of concern when you are the only one to whom the meat tastes metallic.

Kidney, liver, or undiagnosed diabetes diseases often make your meat taste metallic. Also, the blood-like or chemical-like flavor might be because of your drug’s side effects.

Well, if meat tastes metallic, you should look for the reason first.

You can start by changing the curing and following the ideal meat processing method. However, if only you think the beef is corrupted, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Prosciutto tastes like blood for many reasons like using table salt, leftover blood, myoglobin, or your health condition. But, no matter what the reason is, no one enjoys metallic prosciutto. Hence, you should investigate the cause fast and go through what you are doing wrong.

If you find the curing process confusing, buy the authentic Italian prosciutto and cook it yourself. However, go for a proper health checkup in case you are the only one who gets a blood-like taste of this meat.

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