Culatello di Zibello (Zibello cured ham)
DOP Culatello di Zibello belongs to the category of naturally-cured products, to be preserved uncooked. The finished product after ageing has a characteristic pear shape with a thin layer of fat in the convex part, wound with string so as to form a characteristic wide-mesh net. It has a uniform red colour when cut, with white fat in between the muscle bundles making up Culatello di Zibello. The flavour is distinctive, sweet and delicate. The product is made from bundles of the rear crural muscles and the insides of fresh pig thighs from animals born, raised and slaughtered in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna and meeting production rule requirements.
The production of "Culatello di Zibello" takes place in the following communes of the Region of Emilia-Romagna: Polesine, Busseto, Zibello, Soragna, Roccabianca, San Secondo, Sissa and Colomo.
EVIDENCE OF ORIGIN:
The well-known character of Culatello Zibello is related to the area where it has traditionally been obtained. The product has very old origins connected with the spreading of local pig-breeding, as well as with the particular climatic conditions of the Bassa Parmense area and some Piacenza-Parma border zones. Numerous historical references can be found in the writings of many illustrious men: the chronicler Bonaventura Angeli, in his "Historia della città di Parma", the historian Angelo Pezzàna, and many others. At the present time, the production rules follow the lines of the already existing specific national regulations for the designation of origin prosciutti of Parma and San Daniele.
The production of Culatello di Zibello provides for the following stages: preparation of the muscle bundle, salting, resting, filling of casings and/or covering, tying, ageing.
The requirements for denomination of origin products depend on the environmental conditions and on natural and human factors. In particular, the unique character of the raw material is strictly tied to the defined geographic microzone. In the area which supplies the raw material, the development of livestock-breeding is linked to the extensive cultivation of grains and to the processing of dairy products, which is particularly specialised, making the area very suitable for pigbreeding.
The justification for the localised production of Culatello lies in the particular conditions of the microzone. The link with the geographic environment arises from the particular climatic conditions, very humid, found in the areas near the Po river historically involved in the production of Culatello. The set of "raw material - product - name" is very closely linked to the specific socioeconomic development of this geographic area, such as to give it certain characteristics irreproducible elsewhere.
Reference: The European Commission