Salame Piacentino (Piacenza salami)

From Cookipedia

Salame Piacentino

DOP Salame Piacentino belongs to the group of salted and naturally cured products, with a casing made from the rectum of the pig, to be consumed uncooked. To make Salame Piacentino, lean pork is used, with the addition of 15% to 20% pork fat. The finished product is cylinder-shaped, normally weighing between 0.25 kg to 1 kg. When sliced, the colour is bright red, interspersed with white dots of fat. The aroma is distinctive, very intense, rather sweet, with the characteristic smell of sausage meat. Salame Piacentino is made using fresh pig thighs from animals born, raised and slaughtered in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy and meeting production regulation requirements.

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA: The making of Salame Piacentino takes place in the area of the Province of Piacenza, limited to those areas no higher than 900 metres elevation.

EVIDENCE OF ORIGIN: The making of Piacenza processed pork products, and especially of Salame Piacentino, has taken place since Roman times and has been handed down over time, becoming concentrated in the geographic area. The history of the product goes back to the development of a typical rural culture common to the entire Po Valley, the area supplying the raw materials, which are then processed in an area which is much smaller and which has well-established, particular traditions regarding this product. The product's origin is thus connected with the spreading of pig-breeding in the area and with the particular climatic conditions. Historical references to Salame Piacentino are found in the gastronomic traditions of the Po Valley. 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.

ACQUISITION: Salame Piacentino production includes the following stages: grinding of the meat; seasoning with a mixture of salt, spices and condiments; mixing; stuffing and tying; aging. Aging begins at the time of salting, and must take place for a period of no less than two months.

LINK: The requirements for Salame Piacentino depend on the environmental conditions and on natural and human factors. In particular, the unique character of the raw material is strictly connected to the defined geographic macro zone. 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 pig breeding.

The justification for the localised production of Salame Piacentino lies in the particular conditions of the microzone defined in point. The environmental factors are closely tied to the characteristics of the production area, where cool, wide valleys with abundant water and hilly wooded areas predominate, having a great influence on the climate which, in turn, has a great influence on the particular qualities of the finished product. The set of "raw material - product - name" is linked to the specific socioeconomic development of this geographic area, with certain characteristics irreproducible elsewhere.

GASTRONOMY: The best way to conserve DOP Salame Piacentino is to completely remove the external casing and wrap it in a slightly damp cloth. In this way, it can be kept in the fridge for up to 15 days. In order to obtain a compact slice, it is best to cut the salami obliquely while still cold, and to eat it when it reaches a temperature of 10°C. It is excellent as a starter, served with traditional fried gnocchi or fresh figs and accompanied by a glass of one of the DOP Colli Piacentini wines.

Reference: The European Commission