The gastronomic tradition boasts numerous masterpieces: just think that in Italy about 700 different deli meats have been counted from north to south and the number seems to be an estimate by default. Many are present throughout the territory, with characteristics that vary from region to region; others, are typical of specific territories and can be found only in those areas. Among these, for example, goose salami and porchetta, which are fully part of our traditional deli meats
The goose salami is made from a mixture of goose and pork meat consisting of one third of lean goose meat, one third of lean pork and one third of pork fat from pancetta and bacon. The goose salami has its roots in Lomellina, a part of the Po Valley located in the south-western part of Lombardy, in the province of Pavia. In this area, goose breeding has a very ancient history. The abundance of stagnant water and swamps and large expanses of land have created an ideal environment for the breeding of these birds. The goose salami was already widespread in the 1400s among the northern European Jewish communities settled in this area. The quality of this salami did not go unnoticed in the local communities, thanks to the delicate scent and a slightly spicy taste. The slice reveals a dark red colour, besides the pink and white of the various types of meat used. The Salame d’Oca di Mortara obtained the European PGI mark in 2004.
The goose salami is made up of different parts of meat. Goose skin – appropriately salted, trimmed and sewn with cotton twine – is used as a wrapper to contain the dough. The use of artificial envelopes or other birds animals’ skin is prohibited. In the best-known recipe, such as that of the Mortara area in the province of Pavia, there is no lack of salt, pepper and various spices. The bagged and tied product gets the shape of the goose neck or the classic cylindrical shape of the salami; it is perforated and for the drying phase placed one to three days in ventilated rooms at a temperature between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius. Once dried the product is cooked, then sold whole or in slices.
Porchetta is a cooked pork meat based product. It can vary in weight between 27 kg and 45 kg but it is also very diffused as a “tronchetto” (trunk) with a weight between 7 kg and 13 kg. The trunk is the portion of the half carcass of a hog, between the third dorsal vertebra and the last lumbar vertebra. The peculiar characteristics of the product are: the rind, which has a crunchy consistency in the upper part, brown colour and a savoury taste; in the girth area, the crust can have a soft consistency. The tasty and white flesh is enriched by the wise use of rosemary, pepper and garlic. The crunchiness of the crust, which represents one of the main distinctive features of the product and remains unchanged even after several days, is obtained through adequate cooking. The Porchetta di Ariccia obtained the PGI mark in 2011.
The pig carcass (female) undergoes manual deboning, which involves the removal of all the bony parts with the exception of the tibia and fibula of the hind limbs and, if present, the bony parts of the head. There is then the excision of the hind and front limbs and the removal of the meat in excess at the level of the hams, the shoulder, the neck and the fillet in order to guarantee an adequate cooking of the pork meat. This is followed by the salting with marine salt and a rest necessary to absorb the salt. After the rest a manual massage is performed in all the parts in which the salt was distributed in excess. Spicing is done manually with a mixture of black pepper, rosemary and garlic. The tying phase, carried out in the traditional way, constitutes a significant element in the preparation of the Porchetta: a manual operation which must guarantee, both during and after cooking, that its compactness is maintained. The Porchetta, tied and sewn around an aluminum or stainless steel tube, is introduced into the oven only when the temperature reaches 200 ° C. The Porchetta is cooked at a temperature between 160 ° and 280 ° C for a time ranging from 3 to 5 hours after placing, obtaining by this way its crispy crust. The cooling, which takes place gradually, removes more moisture from the product, giving in addition to the crispy crust, a homogeneous colour and the shelf life.