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This is a distinctive cured meat product made from pig’s cheek which is still produced in some areas of the Upper Casentino and a few towns of the Romagnolo Apennines. Gota meat is “fatty’, full-flavored and with excellent sensory properties. At one time it was popular among people working in the forests and fields who needed a lot of low-cost calories. It is small with an average weight of about 1 kg and a thickness never exceeding 10 cm. It has a triangular or trapezoidal shape, with the peppered side slightly convex. The pig’s cheek is cut into small triangular or trapezoidal pieces and after trimming is seasoned with a mixture of salt, garlic, pepper, and sometimes flavoring and red pepper; the product is salted on boards for about 5-7 days. The individual pieces are then brushed or washed and dried, peppered and hung for aging in a well ventilated and cool environment for at least a month. The meat is fatty with discontinuous but well distributed areas of lean meat, which give it a good consistency. Gota tastes excellent at all times of the year but the winter months are recommended as the best time. It is traditionally produced during the coldest months, from autumn to spring. It is an extremely flavorsome cured meat product, excellent with Tuscan bread or combined with other food such as eggs and potatoes. The last remaining producers are in the municipalities of Bibbiena, Chiusi della Verna, Poppi, Pratovecchio, Santa Sofia and Stia, in the provinces of Arezzo and Forlì Cesena.

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Emilia Romagna


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Cured meats and meat products