Royal Crown Bakery
Royal Crown Bakery's prosciutto loaf ($4) took home best in tasting honors in all three categories, thank to its big chunks of cheese and meat and delicious cheesy crust, all set off by a mild peppery flavor. One taster summed it up: "Yum, this is what I want."
Overall Flavor: 7.8/10
Royal Crown Bakery: 6512 14th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219 (map); 718-734-1002
The tasters kept circling back to the prosciutto breads made in Brooklyn, and particularly Carroll Gardens. They found the Caputo's loaf ($4.75) the neighborhood's best, loving its crust and aroma but wanting just a bit more meat.
Overall Flavor: 7.2/10
Founded in 1903, Parisi Bakery is one of the anchors of what remains of Little Italy. It makes some of the best hero rolls in the city, and tasters loved its prosciutto bread's ($5.50) meaty flavor and pronounced pepper bite. One wrote: "Great for all purpose consumption!"
Overall Flavor: 6.4/10
Mazzola is one of the go-to bakeries for classic Italian breads. Tasters lauded its prosciutto bread ($5.50) for its "tanginess, porkiness, and creaminess" but some thought it had a bit of harsh aftertaste.
Overall Flavor: 6.3/10
Mazzola Bakery: 192 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (map); 718-643-1719
Amy's Bread puts its spin on prosciutto bread with its black pepper and prosciutto twists ($2). Tasters liked its pepper heat and prosciutto flavor but thought it a bit too oily.
Overall Flavor: 5.7/10
Faicco's is a bustling temple of great Italian meat, sausages, and rice balls. Their lard bread ($2.50) was one of the smallest of the tasting. Samplers enjoyed its soft texture and delicate aroma but wanted more meatiness.
Overall Flavor: 5.4/10
Faicco's: 6511 11th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219 (map); 718-236-0119
The Madonia Bakery on Arthur Avenue has been in the same family since 1918. Tasters were at first wowed by their prosciutto bread's ($5) peppery flavor, but then decided that the spice overpowered the porky bits.
Overall Flavor: 5.2/10
Eataly's prosciutto bread ($5.80) is really a white Italian loaf into which chunks of the store's prosciutto ends have been mixed. One taster said that it "doesn't really taste or smell porky, but the bread tastes fine as bread."
Overall Flavor: 4.5/10
G. Esposito & Sons Pork Store
Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens is a hotbed of prosciutto bread production and consumption. The G. Esposito & Sons Pork Store has their lard bread ($6) stuffed with their house salumi. However, tasters wanted more meat.
Overall Flavor: 4.1/10
G. Esposito & Sons Pork Store: 357 Court Street, Brooklyn NY 11231 (map); 718-875-8683
Tasters found the Napoli Bakery's lard bread ($4) on the bland side, although some liked its soft texture. This was the only loaf made with roast pork.
Overall Flavor: 2.9/10