First, let’s get the few similarities out of the way. Among them is the fact that both types of meat look similar, especially when they are cut into paper-thin sliced pieces. There’s a similar color between both of them, and it’s that dark pink appearance with the fat marbled throughout. The other main similarity is that both hams come from the same breed: the white pig. However, beyond that, there are mostly glaring differences.
First is the fact that prosciutto is cured ham from Italy while Jamon Serrano is cured ham from Spain. Then, while both come from the white pig, there are differences in how the pigs are raised, which can affect the flavor. In order to produce Jamon Serrano, the white pig is fed Oak acorns, while prosciutto comes from pigs that mostly eat fruit, corn, and whey.
To create prosciutto, it’s put in storage areas where there’s a lot of humidity. When curing Jamon Serrano, the storage area is instead a dry environment. Because of the different processes, Jamon Serrano hams will come out tough and dry, while prosciutto will be more moist and soft when eaten. Also, the raw meat of Jamon Serrano is not treated, while prosciutto is often boiled before salting.