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World famous prosciutto made in Hazleton, PA

If you’ve watched many cooking shows, you’ve likely seen TV chefs using prosciutto, a dry-cured ham. The meat is seeing a major increase in popularity because of its frequent use on television cooking programs, and much of it is made in the Hazleton area.

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Citterio USA, the largest American producer of prosciutto, operates its only United States plant in Freeland, Pennsylvania. The company got its start in Italy in 1878 and opened its Freeland location in the early 1970s, drawn by the clean, dry air of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.

Worldwide, there are 10 Citterio plants. Citterio’s northeastern Pennsylvania facility has 350 full-time employees. The Freeland plant is part of a cluster of food processing industries in and around Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

The company purchases 800,000 pounds of raw pork each week and produces meat two ways: three-quarters of it is dry cured and the other quarter is cooked. Dry cured products include prosciutto, which is Citterio’s biggest product, in addition to salami and pepperoni. Cooked products include baked ham products enhanced with flavor.

Citterio handles its own slicing and packaging and supplies some of the biggest names in the meat industry, including Boar’s Head and Dietz and Watson. The company’s customers include Costco, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, BJs and the Kroger Group.

Because of the company’s growth and success in the area, Citterio is about to begin construction on a 90,000-square-foot expansion of the facility.

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