Inside a stuffed sandwich or on a cutting board for an aperitif, cured meats are a wild card on our tables and a flagship of the agri-food sector in Italy.
Cooked, raw, pork but not only, every corner of our country has its typical salami, each with its unique taste, texture and unmistakable aroma. One thing unites them all: the red thread that binds them to their territories of origin. Among the many excellences of Italy, we have chosen for you 10 cold cuts among the most peculiar for history, origin, curiosity, excellent to taste for lunch, dinner or snack, inevitable to taste if you happen to take a tour in the areas where they are produced. Let’s discover them together.
Salami from Felino
“Appetizing and fragrant”: this is how the writer Giovanni Mariotti described Felino salami in 1942. The sweet taste and thedelicate aromain fact, are the distinctive features of this precious IGP cured meat from Parma. His secret lies in the carefully selected fresh pork meat and in their craftsmanship, but also in the climate of the town of Felino, which boasts the right temperatures and degree of humidity and ventilation for its maturation. Here, in Castle of Felinois headquartered on museum dedicated to this delicious salamiexcellent to serve as an appetizer.
With its beautiful contrast between the red of the meat and the white of the lardons it even won over Garibaldi, who in a letter dated 1877 praises its goodness. Fabriano salami, Presidio Slow Foodis a typical salami of the Norcia tradition of the Marche region, produced with the noblest parts of pigs reared on the territory and characterized by a light brown mold that covers the surface. It’s a winter salami, slaughtered and bagged from October to March. Traditionally it had to be ready for the Easter holidays and, still today, it is one of the traditional specialties that are brought to the table on Easter and Easter Monday.
The Stortina is a typical salami from the lower Veronese area: pesa less than 200 grams and it has one feature curved shape from which it takes its name. This specialty, Presidio Slow Foodit traditionally came preserved in lard to keep it fresh and soft throughout the winter and prevent it from drying too quickly due to its small size. And it is still prepared this way today, even if there is also a version of the Stortina Veronese without lard, more similar to a small salami. Tasty and aromatic thanks to the spiced with garlic macerated in white wineit is enjoyed above all combined with polenta.
With her sweetness, Parma ham is one of the most famous and appreciated symbols of Italian gastronomy. This PDO raw salami typical of the Parma hills, it also boasts an event dedicated to him, the Parma Ham Festivalwhich since 1997, in September, has been an opportunity to taste it, but also to enter the ham factories of the area and witness the entire processing cycle. It is thanks to a rigid production regulationsindeed, that the pork leg is transformed into the prized ham known and loved all over the world. How to serve it to best savor its goodness? As the Parma Ham Consortium points out, there are two important rules to respect: always cut it with the slicerthe thickness of a sheet of paper, and, once the rind has been removed, don’t get rid of all the fatwhich is an essential element to preserve the unique flavor of this ham.
Speck South Tyrol
Lo speck Alto Adige IGP it’s a typical specialty of the South Tyrolean gastronomic tradition which stands out for the light smoke and for the spiciness with rosemary, juniper, bay leaves, a little salt and pepper. The seasoning in the fresh mountain air does the rest, making this salami perfect for enhancing the typical recipes of South Tyrol: it is one of the essential ingredients of Trentino barley soupof the dumplingslarge round gnocchi made with stale bread, of the fried eggs, a Tyrolean specialty in which it goes well with fried eggs and sautéed potatoes. But speck, in strips, cubes, thinly sliced, is ideal for adding an extra touch to many dishes, from polenta to risotto, from rolls to savory pies to pizza.
Porchetta from Ariccia
The porchetta from Ariccia IGP it is a typical specialty of the famous village of the Castelli Romani, famous all over the world for this salami. Cotta, made from pork, with a characteristic crispy crust, porchetta from Ariccia is a product with a millenary tradition which is presumed to have its roots in pre-Roman times and in the Latin population. In particular, the presence of the Roman nobility who throughout history used to move to Ariccia for the summer season or to organize hunting trips is considered a crucial element for the development of craftsmanship which, still today, is handed down from father to son and it is the secret of the goodness of the Porchetta di Ariccia IGP.
Salama da sugo is a typical salami from Ferrara DOP and IGP based on pork meat processed, seasoned and cooked. A specialty that boasts five centuries of history: according to legend, the merit of its diffusion goes to Lucrezia Borgia, who after marrying Duke Alfonso d’Este, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, used to serve Salama as a sauce at the many banquets which he organized at the Court of Ferrara.
Typically this salami it is eaten together with the puree because it has a strong flavour which creates a perfect contrast with the delicacy of the potatoes. Also excellent summer combinations with figs and melonwhose sweetness is ideal for enhancing the full-bodied taste of Salama.
Why is it called “from gravy“? The sauce on the pasta has nothing to do with it: this appellation, in fact, is due to the gravy that the Salama releases when it is cut.
War and ingenuity: the history of stuffed zampone based on lean porkcould be summed up in these two words. Its origin, in fact, dates back to 1511When the troops of Pope Julius II Della Rovere besieged Mirandola, a town in the province of Modena. In order not to give the invader the few pigs which represented the only form of livelihood left to the population, one of the cooks of Pico della Mirandola had the idea of butcher them, mince the leaner meats and put the mixture in casings made from the skin of the legsa solution to keep them without letting them rot and cooking them later: this is how zampone was born. Today one of the finest specimens of this specialty, which is typically enjoyed during the Christmas holidays, is lo Zampone Modena PGI.
Goose salami from Mortara
Il Goose salami from Mortara IGPbagged typical of the province of Paviais a salami based on minced pork and goose meatwhich gives it a characteristic sweet taste. This specialty was born from an intuition of the butchers of Lomellina, who to satisfy the palates of Jewish communities of the area, whose traditional salami was based on goose meat, without displeasing the non-Jewish ones, they invented a salami that contains both. The recipe was then revisited and perfected by the butchers of Mortara and today it is an excellent local excellence for an appetizer or a cold snackbut also ideal to combine with hot dishes such as risotto, mashed potatoes and vegetables.
This Tuscan salami IGP with a true taste, it goes perfectly with bread – the “plain” one, without salt, as is used in Tuscany – and with a glass of Chianti. But the distinguishing feature of this soft-cured sausage it is the characteristic aroma that i give it wild fennel seeds. Originally these seeds were added to the finocchiona mix only for economic reasons: they simply cost less than pepper. And, instead, they have become his business card!