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Traveling among Italian salamis

Italian DOP and IGP cured meats

In terms of excellent scoring, Italy boasts numerous records. In short, from the aperitif to the cured meat starters, the choice is truly vast! Just look at the butcher's shop to see a considerable quantity of salami, or cooked ham , and Parma ham ? We're just talking about the classics... It seems that there are around 600 cured meats in Italy, not counting the variations of spices used for flavouring.

The number cited largely hides a unique cured meat that - almost everyone - likes: salami. Clarifications are needed: salami is a cured meat and, in most cases, is made up of a mix of spices and pork (including fat). However, there are variations of PGI salami made from game meat: wild boar, deer and mixed meats.

EAP, DOP and IGP: cured meats and clarity

We need to clarify for a moment to be able to navigate the world of elite salamis and beyond. In terms of tradition, it is important that the production criteria strictly respect Italian and European protocols. The need to comply with certain rules has led to the creation of a European-wide campaign (EAP) which aims to control compliance with the regulations and streamline the movement of Italian excellences marked DOP and IGP such as Parma ham.

The EAP body also manages and certifies products with the DOP and IGP brands. PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) refers to the place of processing of the product which must take place in a specific place, while PGI (Typical Geographical Indication) are produced exclusively in a specific territory and processed there.

DOP cured meats. The salami that counts

Italy is also known for being a place full of villages and small towns that hide secrets and traditions. Food is an integral part of culture and with it DOP cured meats, which is why most of the typical and traditional dishes have that something extra when tasted on site. However, you can choose to buy DOP Italian cured meats and bring an equally unique flavor to the table that leaves an indelible memory.

Varzi salami

Varzi, Pavia. An excellent salami with a soft and full texture. The contrast between the red of the meat and the white of the fat stands out and enhances an intense flavor without any hint of garlic, a necessary but not characteristic ingredient.

Salami Brianza

Production complies with strict rules: pork with salt, black peppercorns and wine. The sweet flavor is obtained from maturing which ranges between 3 and 15 weeks in pre-established, dark and rather humid environments.

Piacentino salami

The spicy aroma is guaranteed by the maturation which exceeds 45 days. The color is a sort of painter's palette: between red and white passing through pink thanks to the careful mincing of the pork and the addition of spices which give a pleasant aroma and a unique sweetness.

Hunter-style salami

It is difficult to locate a single area in Italy where Italian PDO cured meats such as "i cacciatori" are produced. Tradition dictates that many areas have their own history and this particular cured meat is linked to two factors: very short maturation (around 10 days) and measured use of spices.

Calabrian soppressata

The land of Calabria offers cured meats for strong stomachs and lovers of spicy and spicy flavours. The bright red color comes from the use of hot spices - sometimes very hot. The cuts of meat used are ham and pork shoulder added to the front part of the loin, however it is the processing and the final preparation phase that give the salami the classic shape from which its name derives: soppressata.

Italian PGI salami

The PGI brand involves a series of slightly more stringent rules than PDO cured meats , despite this, the Italian people choose not to be discouraged and continue to produce typical products capable of receiving more awards and brands.


Tuscany docet. The name of the PGI cured meat recalls the key ingredient around which a centuries-old tradition and rigid regulations are built. The selected pork meat is first choice and finds the perfect union with fennel seeds, salt, pepper, garlic and wine. All the ingredients respond to certain ranges in terms of quantity so as to create the right and perfect balance in terms of flavour.

Cremona salami

Pork, salt and garlic. Basic ingredients for an authentic flavour, this is the secret of the salami which has a bright red color combined with an intense aroma and a well-defined flavour.

Sant'Angelo salami

Sicily chooses to enter the world of PGI cured meats using a particular product obtained from the processing of cuts of pork such as leg, loin, fillet, shoulder and coppa. The uniqueness of the product is given by the environmental factor combined with the processing which must be carried out rigorously with a knife, no machinery and technological gadgets: everything as in the old days cumpà!

Feline salami

Seasoning is the added value of the PGI cured meat which lasts 25 days after being treated (dried in technical jargon) for at least 5. Uniform colour, delicate flavour, homogeneous consistency and particular name, however it is obtained from pork, without any ifs and without buts.

Piedmont salami

The delicate and sweet flavor is the result of the use of particular spices such as nutmeg and cloves combined with the wine. Obviously, since it is a PGI cured meat, the wine used must also be indigenous, usually choosing between Nebbiolo or Barbera , although the Piedmont area offers various ready-to-use solutions.

Salami and cheese plate. Italy is certainty

Tradition is the fulcrum of the whole process, as is the sourcing of raw materials and wherever you go, cured meat you find. This seems to be the mantra of the in-depth study relating to cured meats. The culinary tour in terms of PDO cured meats and PGI cured meats tells of a land rich in traditions and particular uses of unique ingredients, such as some spices, rather than the preference for particular processes done "as they once were". The choice of what to bring to the table finds, in the topic of cured meats and appetizers, ample room for maneuver and different possibilities of choice, the idea of ​​combining products and proposing dishes for areas of Italy is an excellent common thread that avoids creating imperfect joints and offers the possibility of enhancing the typical dishes that Italian cuisine offers.