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Motsetta, motzetta or mocëtta is a cured meat of ancient origin produced in the Aosta Valley and northern Piedmont (Canavese, Valsesia, Val d’Ossola). In the Aosta Valley patois it is otherwise called in full “morseau de vianda setza”, meaning “piece of dried meat”.

There are currently only four active producers.
The etymology of the word ‘motsetta’ is uncertain, while the origin and processing methods of this product can be traced back to those used in the production of Bresaola in Val d’Ossola.

The origin of this cured meat stems from farming families’ need to preserve meat during the long winter months. It is made from cuts of lean meat, mostly muscle or thigh, from beef, sheep, goat, pig, horse or game (among the latter, meat of chamois or ibex are especially appreciated).
The meat is flavoured with garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, sage and other mountain herbs, then salted and covered with the liquid from the meat itself. After being prepared this way, it is left to rest in a cool place for a variable amount of time: in homemade preparations, the meat is placed under a weight to develop a richer flavour for up to 20 days. The meat then must dry and season, hanging in a ventilated, dry area.

The motsetta is mainly made in autumn, and is sold on the market packaged in slices with an approximate weight of about 400-600 grams. It can be eaten both “fresh”, i.e. still tender, or highly aged, which makes the meat uniformly dark but also harder, which requires cutting in very thin slices.

It is served as a starter or in salads, with the typical local rye bread and local, medium-bodied, still wines. The flavour of the motsetta is enhanced by locally produced honeys and walnut oil.

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Aosta Valley


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Cured meats and meat products

Nominated by:Paola Strumia