American Feast, LLC :: About the Producer
Iowa's La Quercia
Herb and Kathy Eckhouse founded La Quercia to create premium quality American prosciutto.
Their appreciation for prosciutto grew out of the three and a half years they lived in
Italy, prosciutto's area of origin. Their ambition to create their own came from a desire to take the bounty that surrounds them in
Iowa to its highest expression.
Herb and Kathy are contributing to the growth of premium, artisan-made American foods by offering fine quality, dry cured meats -- and
Iowa with its abundance is the natural place to do this.
La Quercia’s Founders believe that the food we eat can delight us every day. It is their mission to help you make that happen. With each product, they strive to offer a memorable eating experience, one that causes you to stop and savor the moment.
For Herb and Kathy great food is more than great taste. It is healthful, nutritious, and pleasurable. It is satisfying sensually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. It tastes good and it feels good. It pleases and it nourishes. It is part of a responsible food system that sustains you, producers, craftspeople, restaurants, and stores who support their communities and respect the environment.
Great food is made from the highest quality materials, careful adherence to the best of tradition, and the judicious use of modern tools. La Quercia incorporates these principles in determining how they produce and what they select to offer.
All of the pork they use comes from suppliers who subscribe to humane practices. To Herb and Kathy this means that the animals have access to the out of doors, have room to move around and socially congregate, and root in deep bedding. They do not use meat from animals that have been given antibiotics, kept in large animal confinement facilities, fed animal byproducts, or given hormones.
Kathy and Herb work in all aspects of the business–selecting and buying pork, salting, trimming, and handling hams and leading a small group of dedicated staff who participate in their production.
Kathy Eckhouse is a long time "foodie" who lived in
Europe for several years as a child and adolescent. She is the person all of her friends describe as the best cook they know. Kathy says, "I feel good about what we do, because we use pork from animals that have had a good life. I think prosciutto is a great thing for a well-raised pig to become."
Says Herb, “I love making prosciutto; it's like assisting at a miracle."