The hams are guitar-shaped, with reddish-pink meat. The trotter from the leg is left on.
The meat used comes from Large White or Landrance pigs; they may be bred with Duroc pigs. 46 percent of the hogs used come from Lombardy. Each hog must weigh at least 350 pounds (160 kg) and be at least 9 months old before slaughter. After slaughter, the hams must be refrigerated and processed within 5 days. Each fresh ham before processing must weigh a minimum of 24 pounds (11 kg.)
The ham is trimmed of excess fat, salted with coarse salt, pressed, then let cure, then washed, then aged in a well-ventilated place for at least 13 months.
Prosciutto di San Daniele received its PDO on 21 June 1996.
The makers in San Daniele like to date the making of prosciutto there back to the Celts.