We believe the food we eat can delight us each day. We strive to offer a memorable eating experience - one that causes you to stop and savor the moment.
Great food is more than great taste. It is healthful, nutritious, and pleasurable. Great food satisfies the senses and the body, the emotions and the mind. It is part of a responsible food system that sustains you, the producers, and the craftspeople, restaurants, and stores who support their communities and respect the environment.
We started La Quercia to create premium quality American prosciutto, then applied what we learned to other cuts of pork. Our appreciation for cured meats grew out of the three and a half years we lived in Parma, Italy, prosciutto's area of origin, where we saw how the careful treatment of fine materials resulted in an accessible, sublime and entirely regional cuisine. Our ambition to create our own prosciutto came from our desire to take the bounty that surrounds us in Iowa to its highest expression. We seek to contribute to the growth of premium artisan-made American foods by offering unique dry cured meats of the finest quality.
We are always working to make our operations and activities more sustainable and decrease our carbon footprint.
- First and foremost, our pork comes from sustainable producers who treat their animals and their land responsibly. There’s a lot to say about this, and you can read about our standards and the farmers who help us meet them in great detail here.
- Second, we buy our raw material, the pork, right here where the pigs are. We focus our meat supply, so that the vast majority of our meat comes from slaughter houses within 200 miles of our prosciuttificio. Most of the pigs are raised within that radius also. The way we see it, it makes more sense to send cured, rather than raw, Iowa meat to the coasts. We take locally-produced meat, trim it, cure it (taking out most of the water weight) and then ship it out.
- We use organic spices whenever possible. Oregon Spice Company has rigorous safety controls to ensure the purity and integrity of their spices.
- We use sea salt from the United States.
Sustainability is also about the people--this is one of the themes that Kathy has been very strong on, and we were pleased to see that it was highlighted at Slow Food Nation in 2009.
- We participate with a "co-employment" company that enables us to offer health benefits. We want to provide a work environment that is fair and productive to everyone involved.
- We buy our meat on a sustainability basis--it is not sustainable agriculture if our suppliers go out of business. So we work with them on a cost-plus basis, independent of pork commodity prices.