Mortadella and Prosciutto: A Guide to Giolitti Deli’s Imported Italian Meats

A mortadella with pistachio sandwich.

Mortadella with pistachio is classic Italian meat available to purchase from Giolitti Deli.

Italian food has a lot of delicious imported meats to offer, including the popular mortadella and prosciutto. Giolitti Deli carries both of these Italian meats in our shop, and serve them on our menu. But do you know what makes a slice of mortadella or prosciutto so appetizing? Read on to learn the differences and unique traits of these meats, and how to sample them during your next visit to Giolitti Deli. 


How It’s Made

Mortadella roughly translates to “mortar ground sausage.” It gets this name because it is made of finely ground select cuts of pork. The meat is flavored with myrtle berries, salt, and pepper, and a traditional mortadella has pistachio slices folded in as well. Giolitti Deli offers classic Leoncini mortadella with pistachio, imported from Italy. Mortadella is cured for quite a while and cooked for several hours in a low-temperature oven before being shipped and sold. 

What It Looks Like

Mortadella gets its unique marbled look from the addition of high-fat pork late in the mixing process, often from the pig’s neck. The curing process results in its final, rosy hue. 

How to Eat

Thin slices of mortadella taste great as an antipasto, or a snack-like appetizer. They are also great additions to sandwiches, such as Giolitti Deli’s “Italian Sandwich.”


How It’s Made

Prosciutto (“ham”) is a dry-cured ham made from a pig or wild boar’s leg or thigh meat. The process can take from nine months to two years, depending on the size of the meat and the local climate. The meat is cleaned, heavily salted, and left for two months. During that time, the ham is pressed to drain out the blood. Next, the meat is washed several times to remove the salt and hung in a dark, cool room until cooked. Once cooked and dry, the prosciutto is hung at room temperature for about eight months. The best quality comes from colder climates. 

What It Looks Like

Like mortadella, thin prosciutto has a pinkish, rosy hue. Sometimes the prosciutto is cured with potassium or sodium nitrates, which contributes to the pink color. 

How to Eat

Prosciutto is served uncooked and thinly sliced as an antipasto. It can also be a pizza topping, included in a Tuscan dish, or placed on a sandwich with fine Italian bread. The Milano and Roman sandwiches available at Giolitti Deli both use our favorite prosciutti, prosciutto di Parma and prosciutto di San Daniele. 

Prosciutto di Parma and di San Daniele are both named after their location of origin. Parma has a nutty, saltier flavor while San Daniele is darker and sweeter. 

Giolitti Deli’s Saltimbocca

In our refrigerated section, you can purchase our chicken saltimbocca, which literally translates to “jump in the mouth.” The dish incorporates our Parma prosciutto and is packed with classic Italian flavors. Read the recipe below to learn more about the dish, as well as how to make it at home if you’re feeling adventurous!


  • 2 small chicken breasts
  • 2 slices Parma prosciutto
  • 2 slices imported fontina cheese (or provolone)
  • 4 large sage leaves
  • 1 Tbl butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

Cooking Instructions

Carefully beat the chicken breasts until very thin and lightly salt (not too much, as the prosciutto is already salty) and pepper.  Melt the butter in a saute pan and saute the chicken until brown on each side. Place a slice of prosciutto on each chicken breast, top with 2 sage leaves and the cheese, then add the white wine to the pan.  Cover and cook until the cheese is melted. Buon apetito!

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!

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