Valle d’Aosta Lard d’Arnad/Vallée d’Aoste Lard d’Arnad (Aosta Valley Arnard lard)
DOP Valle d’Aosta Lard d’Arnad/Vallée d’Aoste Lard d’Arnad is understood as fat obtained from pigs coming from farms in the regions of Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Roňiagna, in conformity with the production rules, using the shoulder and back of adult pigs at least one year old. The finished product, after curing, is of variable shape, not less than 3 cm. thick, of white colour with streaks of meat on the surface layer, whereas the inner part is pinkish without veining.
Produced exclusively within the commune of Amad, in the autonomous Region of Valle d'Aosta.
EVIDENCE OF ORIGIN:
Historical documents regarding this product go back to 1763, evidence of the fact that in past centuries the production of back fat was deeply rooted part of the area's culture and followed specific production and preservation methods. At the present time, the production regulation follows the lines of the already existing specific national regulations for the designation of origin prosciutti of Parma and San Daniele.
The meat of the pigs must first of all be kept pure through a diet which does not include feed with additives or supplements and which does call for certain particular foods. The back fat is taken from the shoulder and back of the pig and must be no less than three centimetres thick. The back fat must be cut and placed in special containers (doils) within 48 hours from slaughtering, alternating each layer of back fat with a layer of salt and seasonings, continuing in this manner almost to the top of the doil; all of this must then be covered with brine which has been brought to a boil and then cooled. The back fat must rest (age) in the doil for a period of at least three months.
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 connected to the defined geographic macrozone. 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 localised production of Lard d'Arnad has its origins in the genuine, time established methods deeply rooted in the tradition of the residents of the commune of Arnad. The particular character of Lard d'Amad is dependent on each stage in its production process. From the pigs' diet, which excludes feed with additives in favour of a diet of natural foods, to transformation, cutting and cleaning right through to processing
The best way to conserve DOP Valle d’Aosta Lard d’Arnad/Vallée d’Aoste Lard d’Arnad for a long time is to cover it with white wine and put it into sealed containers. Traditionally, the product is eaten with the characteristic dark bread from Val d’Aosta, the so-called pan dür, spread with honey, which enhances lard’s sweet flavour. It has always been used as seasoning, but recently it has been “discovered” to be a tasty starter, as well as an ingredient for local recipes. Strangely, DOP Valle d’Aosta Lard d’Arnad/Vallée d’Aoste Lard d’Arnad goes extremely well with boiled chestnuts, honey and Motzetta, another local charcuterie product; the latter combination offers a sweet and savoury contrast, creating pleasant sensations on the palate.
Reference: The European Commission