Cured meats: these are the gourmet excellences – Italian Cuisine


According to tradition, they cannot be missing on the festive table: an expression of local typicality, are the noble sausages, or the cream of national and international charcuterie. A true delight for connoisseurs to be enjoyed freshly cut to express all the nuances of taste


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Irresistible temptation, they are a must of the festive table: freshly cut, arranged in large trays with the slices elegantly arranged in a rosette or "hidden" in a gastronomic panettone that never goes out of fashion, cold cuts are among the Italian excellences – and not only – most loved. The most sought after are handcrafted products: selected raw materials, meticulously controlled curing times, regional “recipes” and, of course, no additives. Among the best Italian cured meats are the now famous Culatello di Zibello Dop and Lardo d’Arnad Dop together with the lesser known – but no less valuable – Sauris IGP ham and Jambon de Bosses Dop. Moreover, thanks to the spread of e-commerce, we can enjoy cross-border delikatessen that the most gourmand will have already encountered, such as the Spanish Pata Negra Bellota DO or the French Rosette de Lyon. Let's get to know these expressions of local specialties, to be able to better appreciate them.

Culatello di Zibello Dop, the king of cured meats

It is mentioned for the first time in an official document dated 1735 by the Municipality of Parma but, according to peasant memory, it appeared three centuries earlier on the noble tables. Today, despite being much more widespread, it remains a product for gourmet palates. A series of determining factors contribute to making it an excellence among the excellences, including the limited production area, the unique climate of the "Bassa Verdiana" (strong variations in temperature and humidity), the ancient production method (matured for 12 at 30 months) and the chosen cut (only the boned buttock, not the whole thigh). It has boasted the PDO since 1996, which certifies its compliance with the strict regulations: in addition to strict production rules, it establishes that the pigs must be of the heavy type and reared in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, while processing is limited to eight countries on the banks of the Po. Twenty-two producers associated with the Protection Consortium. It is cut to the thickness of a wedding veil, as tradition has it (also for Parma ham), which only the slicer ensures. Even better if the machine is mechanical, because it does not heat the slices. It is best enjoyed plain, with slices of bread (such as the typical mica of Parma), fried dumplings or delicate mustard. Unmissable.

194230 "src =" "width =" 210 Culatello di Zibello Dop with flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano Dop

Lard (Lard) d’Arnad Dop

Vallée d’Aoste Lard d’Arnad Dop: if culatello is the king of cured meats, this is the prince of the Aosta Valley delicatessen. The first official testimony dates back to 1570, when Lino Colliard, a famous historian of the Aosta Valley, in a manuscript mentions the distribution of Arnad lard to the needy by the monastery of Sant’Orso. The only lard in the world that can boast the PDO, this noble fat has a strictly regulated traceability: it comes from pigs weighing more than 200 kg, coming from national farms in the Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto regions. It is handcrafted only from the degreased shoulder pad, squared and then left to season in doils (in patois dialect), ancient cube-shaped containers in oak, larch or chestnut wood, where it spends at least three months in water, salt and aromatic mountain herbs (juniper, rosemary, bay leaf, laurel, pepper, nutmeg, sage) . Each slice is white when cut, with a possible vein of meat on the surface and a slightly pink heart, and releases the characteristic scent. The sweet taste makes it an excellent appetizer, tasted natural, perhaps paired with black rye bread, the local pan dür, and chestnut honey. It melts in your mouth.

194231 "src =" "width =" 210 Lard of Arnad

Sauris Igp ham

Protected since 2009 by the Protected Geographical Identification mark, it is a typical product of the municipality of the same name, located in the province of Udine. Less famous than San Daniele but no less valuable, this Friulian ham has a soft consistency and an intense and aromatic taste. It differs from other Italian raw foods because, in the Germanic style, it is lightly smoked with beech wood from local woods in traditional fireplaces that convey the smoke to the smoking rooms. Another peculiarity that distinguishes it is the short salting period, which is followed by the smoking process. Obtained from the processing of fresh thighs of Large White, Italian Landrace and Italian Duroc pigs, it has a rounded shape and no paw. Excellent to be enjoyed simply accompanied with cumin or poppy flavored bread, it has an absolutely characteristic flavor and can also be enhanced in combination with dried fruit. A strong natural sweetness.

194233 "src =" "width =" 210 Sauris Igp ham

Vallée d'Aoste Jambon de Bosses Dop

It is a mountain ham with a Protected Designation of Origin, the only raw ham seasoned at high altitude (1600), produced in limited quantities in Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses (AO), in the Combe froide, region of the Aosta Valley. The first written reference to this typical product dates back to 1397, in Contes d’Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard (Tales from the Gran San Bernardo Hospice): the monastery, strategically located on the Alpine pass of the same name and with a traditional welcoming role, has contributed to giving this ham a well-deserved international reputation. For the production, legs of pigs reared are used, as well as in Valle d'Aosta, in Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, which are salted by hand with a special preparation based on sea salt and herbs from the Valle d'Aosta certified and then matured on a bed of mountain hay. Sliced ​​or hand-cut, Saint-Rhemy-en-Bosses ham goes well with white, signal or wholemeal bread. To sweeten the taste of aromas and herbs, the combination with mountain butter is perfect. Try it with honey and walnuts.

194234 "src =" "width =" 210 Vallée d'Aoste Jambon de Bosses Dop

Jamón Iberico Pata Negra Bellota DO

Excellent quality of Spanish ham, famous all over the world, produced by 100% indigenous Iberian pigs (they are smaller than ours and black, hence the Pata Negra denomination, with black paw), reared free in sunny pastures 4 recognized areas: Jabugo, Guijuelo, Pedroche and Extremadura. The 100% Iberian Ham boasts the Designation of Origin, corresponding to our PDO: the additional term Bellota emphasizes the highest quality of the product, indicating that in addition to being pure Iberian breed (certified by the precious Black Label), the pigs used they fed only on acorns (bellota) and wild herbs. The production techniques are ancient, they spend at least 5 years of great care, including salting, drying and seasoning, which can last up to 64 months. The characteristics of this ham make it unmistakable: its elongated shape, retaining its unique black hoof, the characteristic color ranging from pink to purple red and the delicate, slightly salty or sweet flavor. Its fat is bright, aromatic and with a pleasant flavor. It is ideal cut by hand with a sharp knife.

194235 "src =" "width =" 227 "height =" 138 194236 "src =" "width =" 210 Jamón Iberico Pata Negra Bellota DO

Rosette de Lyon salami

Thanks to the gastronomic institution of the Mothers of Lyon and the legendary Paul Bocuse, Lyon's gastronomy is part of the French gourmet traditions and culture, thanks to its typical bouchons (restaurants) as well as to niche products of the area, such as the Rosette de Lyon . This classic of Lyonnaise charcuterie widespread in the Auvergne – Rhône – Alps area, is obtained from noble cuts of pork (the shoulder, minced together with lard, spices and garlic tips) and aged longer than other similar sausages: it goes from 6 weeks for the smallest sizes to 4 months for the largest (up to 1 meter long). The notoriety of this peasant salami, rigorously stuffed by hand, goes far beyond the borders of its territory: the Rosetta di Lione is eaten sliced ​​with an aperitif or as an appetizer. Its flavor is best appreciated with a rosé and, for those who know it, with aged whiskey.

194239 "src =" "width =" 210

Francesca Tagliabue

Posted on 22/12/2021


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