The Aosta Valley mocetta: what it is and how to eat it – Italian Cuisine

The Aosta Valley mocetta: what it is and how to eat it

Mocetta is a typical Valle d'Aosta salami, prepared with aged cow's leg according to the ancient method of salting and conservation. It is done only with the leanest parts, for this reason it is also ideal in diets, as well as being very tasty and aromatic

In Valle d'Aosta there are more than seventy municipalities, each with its own patois (the local dialect) and its way of preparing (and calling) salami. For this there is no more or less correct way of saying mocetta, motsetta or motzetta, since it depends on the valley in which we find ourselves. However, what is certain is the starting raw material with which this ancient salami is prepared, with numerous uses in the kitchen, which reminds us a little of bresaola. But be careful not to say it out loud, because in the valley they could take offense: the mocetta is the mocetta.

Valle d'Aosta is breeding

The Aosta Valley is primarily breeding. Do you think that in 2014 they were registered more than thirty thousand cattle present in the region (and almost four thousand companies registered in the registry), including twenty thousand of the red spotted breed. In recent years, the situation has not changed in the following way: cattle breeding, compared to sheep or goat farming, continues to dominate, even if a sort of centralization has occurred; stables and farms have fallen, but not that of cattle, demonstrating that this is a job that fewer and fewer people do. In addition, cattle breeding here in the valley lasts all year round, has almost no seasons; Valle d'Aosta cows spend most of their life grazing, often changing herbs according to the period and choosing which essences to feed on. So, in addition to a very varied milk, from which the various exceptional dairy products (such as fromadzo, toma and fontina), the Aosta Valley cows also give us a very tasty meat, present in various ways in the kitchen. One of the best ways to appreciate the goodness of the Aosta Valley beef is the carbonada, a sort of lean meat stew cut into cubes and cooked in wine, often together with sosa, a stew of mixed vegetables. And then, of course, the queen of Valle d'Aosta cured meats: his majesty the mocetta, both fresh and seasoned.

What mocetta (and misada or tseur achétaye)

If there are more variations on the boudin, on the mocetta you don't mess: you only do it with the aged old cow leg. In reality in the past it was also done with the boneless thigh of goat, chamois or ibex, while today, fortunately, these animals are protected from hunting. "But once upon a time it wasn't like that, the mocetta was made with game", explains Denise Marcoz of Lo Grand Baöu restaurant. "In fact today, for example, only those who go hunting do it with chamois, otherwise there is only an old Valle d'Aosta cow around". The mocetta can also be eaten fresh and raw, before the salting and drying process is carried out: in this case we talk about tseur achétaye you hate misada, which is somewhat reminiscent of Trentino salted meat, seasoned only with walnut oil and wild celery, as Denise prepares it. To obtain the mocetta, instead, that is the salted and dried meat, you have to proceed as follows: you always take the leanest part of the thigh, put it in a container with salt, bay leaf, sage, cloves of garlic, pepper and other spices, then it is kept cool under a weight, as required by the ancient method of conservation. In the meantime, a brine is formed in which it must be immersed for at least two weeks; after salting, unlike bresaola, it is not stuffed but it is left to dry directly and dry hanging in an airy place for at least three or four months, even if the more time passes the better. In this way the mocetta will be ready to be tasted in the typical Aosta Valley snack or in other delicious recipes.

The mocetta in the kitchen

The best way to taste the mocetta is by itself, as an appetizer. Alternatively, there are numerous uses that can be made in the kitchen, especially by combining it with other local Valle d'Aosta products. For example, it is often found on warm rye bread croutons, with honey or butter; or it is excellent with mushrooms, seasoned with a sauce of oil, lemon, garlic and parsley. Not least is the accompaniment with cheeses, from fresh goat cheese to fontina, but also with fresh vegetables such as salads or fennel, especially for those on a diet. Then there is another curious dish that we found in a local cookbook: it is Agostino Buillas' Su sci valdostano, from Cafe Quinson in Morgex, a sort of his personal reinterpretation of the rolls of Fénis.

The recipe of the Aosta Valley ski

The following doses are for approx four people.


200 g Carnaroli rice
vegetable broth to taste
8 slices of medium-thick Arnad lard
100 g mocetta
100 g fromadzo (also fontina or toma di Gressoney)

For the mayonnaise
100 g egg yolk
1 pinch of salt
juice of half a lemon
½ liter walnut oil


Toast the rice as for the risotto and sprinkle it with the vegetable broth to the extent of double its volume. Boil, then put it covered in the preheated oven at 180 degrees for about fifteen minutes. When the cooking is complete, spread it out on a surface to make it cool quickly, using a spatula to help cool down, and place it in the refrigerator to rest for about two hours.
In the meantime, prepare the mayonnaise.
After the set time, spread the slices of lard on a sushi mat, overlapping them slightly. Add a layer of rice of about 1 cm, taking care to leave at least half of the lard free to allow rolling. Place a strip of mayonnaise on top of the rice using a piping bag or a spoon. Place a strip of mocetta and one of cheese next to it. Roll to form a tightly packed roll.
Cut the roll into slices about 3 cm thick and place them on a serving plate. Serve in combination with a glass of Nineveh by Ermes Pavese or Saint-Ours by Noussan and be amazed by that recent but constantly growing sector, which is the Aosta Valley winegrowing.

Ah, did you know that with the cow breast, in the same way as the mocetta, another salami is prepared, albeit rarer? And the teteun, celebrated every year in August in Gignod during the Fete of Teteun.

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