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Jamon Serrano and Prosciutto appear to be pretty much the same thing. Both are dried cured (and pressed) pig legs. Speck appears to be the same thing, but made with different cuts of pork.

Is there actually a functional difference in them? Or is the difference in flavour simple due to regional variations (climate, moulds etc.)

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I don't know why English speakers always misspell that... it's called "prosciutto" – nico Jun 11 '12 at 16:57
Maybe because the "iu" vowel combination is almost nonexistent in English aside from "-ium" suffixes and foreign words. – smcg Jun 11 '12 at 19:29
@smcg: that could indeed be an explanation. It just sounds weird to me because you would really read it in a different way :) – nico Jun 12 '12 at 19:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Differences are mainly a question of origin. Speck comes from Tyrol (it actually means "bacon" in german, which is misleading) and is prepared with a specific blend of spices, usually including juniper, Jamon Serrano from Spain (it means "mountain ham" in spanish) and is a dry-cured ham, and prosciutto just means "ham" in italian.

There are plenty of differences in flavor, consistency and aspect, depending on the difference of preparation: ripening, spices and herbs and so on.

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Note that in Italian we distinguish "prosciutto crudo" (lit. raw ham) which is similar to Serrano (but sweeter I would say) from "prosciutto cotto" (lit. cooked ham) which is what you would call white ham in English. – nico Jun 11 '12 at 17:00
Different kinds of Speck are made in all German speaking parts of Europe and not only Tyrol. What do you mean that it is misleading that it means bacon? Speck is usually made of the same cut as bacon, but it is cured and usually eaten raw. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jun 11 '12 at 23:54

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