Piedmontese Cured Meats
It would take many a year to try to know, understand and love all the great excellences produced by artisans of Piedmontese cured meats. Piedmont has artisan producers that have been offering us cured meats of all kinds and for all tastes, generation after generation. Trying to list them all is impossible, but we’ll do our best to give an overview of the wide variety of Piedmontese cured meats.
PIEDMONTESE CURED MEATS FOR MOUNTAIN LOVERS
Imagine being in the mountains, tired after a long excursion, it’s starting to rain but you still don’t want to head home. You decide to stop at a local place to drink some red wine and the owner suggests you try their local “tagliere di salumi” (platter of cured meats).
The fun thing about local specialties is that anywhere you go, they will always be different. But a common thing many mountain places have are game meat and mountain herb condiments. On such a platter you would find Piendmontese cured meats like Bresaola with mountain herbsor Veglia Alps Pancetta.
These meats have been cured with various spices, pepper and mountain herbs. Their intense and unique flavour reminds people of the memory of mountain meadows and woods they visited in the Alps.
It is not only the mountains that have many varieties of Piedmontese cured meats. The whole region is full of original products. Some are more difficult to find than others, like Truffle Salame.
Truffle salame is a regal, fragrant, and genuine cured meat. While salame is a more traditional food, truffle is known for its rarity and luxury. This original salame mixes the two in a winning combination, with its peculiar and intense aroma.
Truffles are not the only Piedmontese speciality that was added to salame. Another example of a great combination is Salame with Barolo. It is prepared according to an ancient peasant recipe from the Langhe, using only the finest cuts of pork matured in Barolo wine.
Salame with Barolo is unique and tasty, both for the flavour and the scent given to it by this famous red wine, which also contributes to giving it a distinctive reddish colour. This is how a mix of flavours and aromas instantly recognizable is born.
Following traditions is very important in Italy and especially true in Piedmont. Since Napoleon’s time, in the Novara area, there were horse exchange centres for armies, and animals no longer useful for transportation were turned into cured meats for troops.
Horse Salametto is such an example. Instead of the common pork meat, it uses a majority of lean horse meat with some added lard or pork belly. These meats are mixed together and spiced with local herbs and seasonings. Horse Salame is soft, with a dark red colour and a unique flavour, and in this case, it’s called “salametto” because it’s smaller than the usual salame.
Another traditional Piedmontese cured meat is Liver Mortadella. Despite its name, this meat is still considered a variant of salame and the misunderstanding coming from the name is only because it derivates from “mortaio” (mortar), which was the tool that was used to pound meat.
Liver Mortadella comes from the tradition of the northeast of Piedmont, but it is also known in other regions. Unfortunately, this tasty meat is produced by few artisans fond of the gastronomic tradition of Italy. This cured meat has a strong and spicy aroma and an extremely savoury taste, it can be eaten both raw and boiled, according to different recipes and variations.