Varhackara

Italy

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Cured meats and meat products

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In Carnia, a historical region in the Friulian Alps close to the Austrian border, every rural family traditionally reared a purcit, a pig, which was slaughtered between October and February. Some of the pork would be eaten fresh, while the rest would be used to make a series of cured meats and other salted or smoked products. Varhackara is a type of pesto that evolved out of this tradition as a way to make the most of the lard, and incorporates offcuts of salami, smoked speck, guanciale, pancetta and ossocollo.
The first documentary references to this product date back to the 13th century, and closely tie it to Timau, a tiny hamlet in the municipality of Paluzza and the last inhabited village before the Plöcken Pass, which leads to Austria. Timau’s historical identity is linked to the local language, which belongs to the family of South Bavarian dialects. Along with the village of Sauris, it belongs to a German-speaking enclave in Carnia, which formed after two groups of miners from the Carinthian valleys settled here, the first in around the year 1000, the other towards the end of the 13th century. These communities brought their gastronomic traditions with them, traditions that can still be seen in the local dishes today.
In the past, the lard was finely chopped with a knife, but today it is minced in a machine. The cured meat offcuts are diced and added to the lard. The mixture is then packed into glass jars, sometimes with the addition of aromatic herbs and nutmeg. Varhackara is eaten spread on bread or heated in a frying pan and served with raw or blanched vegetables, potato gnocchi or traditional cjarsons (ravioli filled with herbs or plums, ricotta and bitter cocoa).

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Season

Varhackara is produced in the coldest months, and can be stored all year

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This traditional preparation is at serious risk of extinction. The community of Timau is shrinking every year, and there are fewer and fewer artisans able to preserve its traditions, like butchers who can produce varhackara and other products like schultar (smoked pork shoulder) and certain cuts of speck. The Presidium has been established to protect this tradition and to support the last two remaining producers. The Presidium protocol demands the use of locally sourced lard, from pigs raised in semi-wild conditions. The cured meats must produced without preservatives, and if smoked this must have been done using beechwood from local forests.

Production area
Timau hamlet, Paluzza municipality, But Valley, Carnia, Udine province, Friuli-Venezia Giulia region

Presidium supported by
Uti Carnia
Agriturismo Al Borg di Patrizia Casali
Paluzza (Ud)
Frazione Cleuilis
Via Aip 14
Tel. +39 0433 779087

Saperi e Sapori di Timau di Massimo Mentil
Timau (Ud)
Via Maria Plozner Mentil, 42
Tel. +39 0433 779008
maxment@libero.it
www.saperiesapori.it
Slow Food Coordinator
Marino Corti
Tel. +39 328 2155654
masicortim@libero.it

Producers’ Coordinator
Massimo Mentil
Tel. +39 338 1784395
maxment@libero.it
This traditional preparation is at serious risk of extinction. The community of Timau is shrinking every year, and there are fewer and fewer artisans able to preserve its traditions, like butchers who can produce varhackara and other products like schultar (smoked pork shoulder) and certain cuts of speck. The Presidium has been established to protect this tradition and to support the last two remaining producers. The Presidium protocol demands the use of locally sourced lard, from pigs raised in semi-wild conditions. The cured meats must produced without preservatives, and if smoked this must have been done using beechwood from local forests.

Production area
Timau hamlet, Paluzza municipality, But Valley, Carnia, Udine province, Friuli-Venezia Giulia region

Presidium supported by
Uti Carnia
Agriturismo Al Borg di Patrizia Casali
Paluzza (Ud)
Frazione Cleuilis
Via Aip 14
Tel. +39 0433 779087

Saperi e Sapori di Timau di Massimo Mentil
Timau (Ud)
Via Maria Plozner Mentil, 42
Tel. +39 0433 779008
maxment@libero.it
www.saperiesapori.it
Slow Food Coordinator
Marino Corti
Tel. +39 328 2155654
masicortim@libero.it

Producers’ Coordinator
Massimo Mentil
Tel. +39 338 1784395
maxment@libero.it

Territory

StateItaly
RegionFriuli Venezia Giulia

Other info

CategoriesCured meats and meat products