…Telling the Story of Cured Meats
Describe the main characteristics of the cured meat, including information on its history or interesting facts about its pro- duction.
The Materana Mountain Pezzente is a cured meat from the farming tradition that gets its name from the fact that, for its preparation, inferior cuts of pork are used.
Indicate where it is produced (the province, the country or even the region, to specify precisely where the work is done). If it is significant, indicate the altitude. Report on where the animals are raised or are pastured, if it is different than where the company is located. It is also useful to specify the pedoclimatic characteristics of the production area, but only those that give the product particularly unique, identifying or organoleptic characteristics.
The farm is located in Castelpoto (Campania), on the slopes of Mount Taburno, about 300 meters above sea level in the Taburno Camposauro Regional Park. Castelpoto is in a hilly area surrounded by streams that makes it naturally isolated, allowing the preservation of traditions such as the making of the red sausage.
Indicate the number of animals raised on the farm and which breed or population they belong to (especially describing characteristics if it is a rare, local breed). Describe how they are raised (pasture, semi-free range, or barn), and the di- mensions of the total space. Explain what the animals are fed, listing the various components of the daily feeding (corn, soybeans, field beans, tubers, etc.), specifying if they are grown on the farm or if it is purchased off farm, and if it is certified GMO free. Specify as well the distance of the slaughterhouse.
The main ingredient is pork that is raised en plein air and slaughtered on the farm. In the warm months, about 70 Large White, Landrace and Duroc pigs are raised on pasture of around 5 hectares (12 acres). In the winter, the animals are kept in the barn with adjacent paddocks that give the opportunity to pasture. Their feed is a base of grains (for example barley ) and certified organic legumes grown on farm (field beans and peas). Only 40% of the corn is purchased off farm, and is bought locally. For the preparation of the Valli Tortonesi salame the following ingredients are also used: Tra- pani sea salt, black pepper, and garlic and Barbera wine produced on the farm.
Explain which practices guarantee animal welfare, with a focus on available space, mutilation, methods and timing of castration, recovery areas, contact with the mother and treatments administered.
Animal welfare is guaranteed by semi-free range pasturing, which takes place in the summer in the oak stand around the farm, and in winter in a box of ample size. Piglets remain with the mother in a specific box until weaning. Mutilations are not practiced. Castrations are performed surgically within the first 15 days of life.
Give details on the period of production and describe processing. Specify all of the cuts used and if the meat is ground by machine or cut by a knife. Indicate the type of casing used, and whether it is natural or synthetic.
Production takes place from November to March. The cuts of meat – shoulder, belly, loin and ham – are selected, me- chanically ground and mixed with a pinch of salt, chili pepper and wild fennel. Then the pork casings are filled and tied by hand with hemp twine.
Indicate the period of curing and briefly describe the place where it happens (if it is a natural location – cellar or cave – or if it is a climate-controlled room). If curing is done by others, indicate the name of the person and where they are located.
Soppressate spend a couple of weeks drying in a climate-controlled room, and then are moved to a cellar with natural ventilation. After 2-4 weeks, the salami are put into glass or clay jars and covered with lard or extra virgin olive oil produced locally. They can be preserved in this way for up to one year.
Tips for use or storage
How and where to best store the product.
The jars should be stored in a cool, dry place away from any source of heat.