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Pecorino Romano DOP falls into the category of cooked cheeses. This cheese is characterized by a very intense flavor, obtained by the high percentage of salt.
Taste, flavor, texture and nutritional energy values are well balanced and the result is a very harmonious and balanced product. According to tradition this cheese would be used as rations for the legionaries because of its long shelf-life and its high nutritional value.
Zibello, Parma, Emilia Romagna
The salted pork is one of the noblest of the butchery Italian cold cuts :because of its processing technique, long and delicate, because it is produced with the most valuable part of the pig, the nut of the thigh, because of its rarity.
The color is to cut red uniform with the presence of white fat between the muscle bundles.
On the nose, depending on age, the salted pork presents musky notes more or less clear, sometimes covered by hints of alcohol issued by the wine bath in which it is immersed before being sliced. In the mouth it offers a very complex aromatic bouquet, ranging from sweet honey start almost up to the perception of shades of spice in the aftertaste.
The best time for production runs from November to January, the minimum aging is expected to be 18 months.
Martina Franca, Taranto, Puglia
Always in Puglia the best sausages are produced in Martina Franca, to such point that at time ago, in Tarantino or in Salento, during the buthcery pig time, they will ask labor just from Martina Franca.
Capocollo or capicollo is the name, which in southern Italy calls the cup or the loin, that part of the pig that lies between the neck and cost.
The capocolli, properly trimmed and shaped, are places to soak in salt for 15-20 days, then extracted and washed with a preparation of mulled wine and spices. Bagging in the gut of the pig and dry: Before you wrap it in cloth, then settle on boards where they rest for ten days. Once they are completely dry, they are ready to be smoked. The traditional method was to cover the floor with sprigs of thyme, myrtle, laurel that you set fire making sure that burned without flame. After the smoking process the phase of maturation begins, which can be up to 90 days.
Capocollo of Martina Franca is produced between September and May of the following year.
In front of the coast of Trapani in a picturesque setting of water, windmills and white pyramids that turn pink as the sun sets there is an important production. The whole area falls within two beautiful protected areas: the natural reserve of saltpans of Trapani and the salt marshes of the Lagoon.
The salt production takes place during the summer, particularly in July and August. We make approximately three crops, depending on the weather.
The salt of Trapani, compared to other cooking salts, contains more potassium, more magnesium and a smaller amount of sodium chloride.
The Quaglia family mill in Padua, in the Veneto region of Northern Italy.
We buy all the Petra flour we use for our pizzas from this long-established family business in the province of Padua. Four generations of millers have grown the family firm from a small wooden hut on the Adige river to a substantial business. It may be a larger operation, but the old-fashioned values and craftsmanship still prevail, and Lucio, Chiara and Andrea Quaglia of the current generation now offer the first and only complete range of stoneground soft wheat.
From the Tavoliere delle Puglie in the Puglia region of Southern Italy.
Paolo Petrilli’s intensely red ‘La Moticella’ organic peeled plum tomatoes, grown from a very ancient seed variety cultivated by only a handful of farmers in just 30 hectares of rocky soil, are exceptional. Harvested and peeled by hand, they retain all their natural flavour, with only fresh basil leaves added to them in the jar.
These are the real San Marzano tomatoes, a variety long abandoned by the agricultural industry because they cannot be grown economically on a large scale, as each tomato has a different ripening cycle.
From Gragnano in the province of Naples in the Campania region of Southern Italy.
The Zampino family concentrates on just two artisan products: Pasta Gentile 1876 and San Nicola dei Miri preserves. Both the pasta and the preserves are produced from the highest quality ingredients using time-honoured artisan methods.
Pasta Gentile 1876 is typical of the excellent pasta for which the town of Gragnano is renowned. Bronze dyes are used to give the pasta a rougher texture and a better taste. To this day, the Zampino family Fusilli is wrapped by hand around iron rods - a most remarkable performance that can be seen on their YouTube video channel. The pasta is then air dried at low temperatures in the traditional manner.
From the Rasciatono Estate in the province of Barletta-Andria-Trani in Puglia in the South of Italy
Cinzia Ceci’s family has been tied to the land for generations. Over the years they have grown grains, cultivated vineyards and olive groves. Today Cinzia, the current head of the family, concentrates on the production of an organic olive oil only from the Rasciatono estate. The oil has minimal acidity, indicating it is of the very highest quality.
This niche product is made with olives picked using a ‘shaker’, an ancient method where the harvesters move the branches of the trees with rods without damaging the plant or the precious fruit.
From the Aggazzotti family vineyards in Colombaro di Formigine near Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region in the North of Italy
The Aggazzotti family moved to Colombaro di Formigine in 1714 from their former ancient lands in nearby Spezzano where they had been recorded since the 16th century. Francesco Aggazzotti, born in 1811, originally studied law, but was so passionately interested in agriculture that he studied agricultural sciences, became part of a committee that lobbied the government on behalf of the farming community and eventually became such an expert on the production of balsamic vinegar that the modern regulations for the production of DOP balsamic vinegar still include the text of a letter he wrote in 1862 describing the correct method of producing Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena.
Today the Aggazzotti family is dedicated to processing agricultural products originating only in Modena, such as Nocino liqueur made from local walnuts, grappa made from local grapes and, of course, balsamic vinegar.
From Spilinga in the province of Vibo Valentia in the Calabria region in the South of Italy.
‘Nduja is a fiery, spreadable smoked pork sausage unique to Calabria. The ‘Nduja from Spilinga is especially good, as it contains sweet, hot chillis that are grown only in this local area. The pork is minced with a little salt and lots of chilli, that gives this salami its typical red colour. It takes more than a year to mature and it’s very, very good.
From Pantelleria off the coast of Sicily in the South of Italy.
Pantelleria is a small volcanic island in the Mediterranean between Sicily and Tunisia, where caper plants grow in abundance. The flower’s buds are harvested by hand before sunrise between May and August. Once picked, they are soaked in brine for about a week, drained and then stored in a little more sea salt.
From Valtellina, a valley in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy.
Fresh air from the heart of the Alps dries the beef used to produce this mild and delicate speciality of Lombardy. Seasoned with pepper and herbs, it is traditionally served in the thinnest possible slices.
From Cetara in the province of Salerno on the Amalfi Coast in the region of Campania in the South West of Italy.
Catching and preserving anchovies is a centuries-old tradition for the fishermen of Cetara. Anchovies from Cetara are caught during the month of May, when they are small and tender. They are processed whilst still at their freshest, and the tiny fillets are preserved in glass jars of olive oil. As they are preserved in oil rather than salt, they are much less intensely salty, and highly valued around the world.
From Castellammare di Stabia in the province of Naples, in the Campania region in the South of Italy.
Artichokes from Castellammare are a very pale green with hints of violet. The traditional local method of production is to make sure the artichokes are partly sheltered from the sun by using earthenware cups. This ensures their tenderness and characteristic light colouring.
From Prato in Tuscany in the North of Italy.
Mortadella di Prato belongs to the family of cooked salamis. Made with meat from domestic pigs, preferably organic, it is seasoned with garlic, mace, pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and, surprisingly, a scarlet-hued Italian liqueur called Alchermes which is infused with sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and herbs.
From the province of San Daniele del Friuli in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in the North of Italy.
Darker and sweeter than Prosciutto di Parma with an intense aroma and a delicate flavour, this famous cured and air-dried ham has a uniform pinkish red colour.
From the province of Parma in the Emilia-Romagna region in the North of Italy.
Prosciutto di Parma DOP is distinguished by its delicate and slightly salty flavour. It has been produced in the province of Parma since Roman times. Only ham produced by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma can display the world famous ducal crown symbol. No chemicals are used in the production of this celebrated dry-cured ham - only salt.