Our new meats from Piacenza are here!
We now have a wide variety of cured meats from the hotbed of Italian charcuterie: Emilia Romagna. Piacenza, located halfway between Milan and Parma, has the unique honor of being the only region in Europe to have 3 DOPs (Protected Designation of Origin) for meat: Coppa, Pancetta, and Salami. They are, however, lesser known than those that come from their southern neighbors in Parma, but we’re here to right that wrong. We have been looking to expand our Italian meat catalog for some time, and it takes time to find new suppliers that meet our high standards. It’s so important for us to ensure something is truly extraordinary before forming a partnership. And we’re excited to say that we found just that – a producer that goes above and beyond, and cured meats that taste phenomenal and reflect that high level of quality and care.
We work with a producer that has been in operation since the 1970s, with the second generation now joining their parents in the plant. Their specialize in a small variety of salumi, so that they can focus on what they do best and maintain consistency. All are made with the highest standards and craftmanship, whether they’re DOP products or not. What makes their meats special begins with the raw material – the pigs. They use the same pigs that are used for Prosciutto di Parma, and focus on large, heavy pigs from Emilia Romagna itself and nearby Lombardia.
Everything they make is produced within 24 hours of slaughter instead of the 72 hours required by the DOP, so the meat is exceptionally fresh. All their salumi are hand-stuffed into natural casings that are formed by hand (see photo below). They age their meats longer than other producers, and the large pigs help with that. As they age, the meats lose moisture and the flavors of the meat and fat become very concentrated. Their facility has all the modern technology, with the most stringent food safety certifications, but they preserve the traditional production methods, doing much of the work by hand. We like their products so much that we wanted to bring them into the Mitica® family – our brand that unifies a special selection of our products and brings a name to the curation and quality for which we’re known.
Pancetta Piacentina DOP
You might know Pancetta as something similar to bacon, that is smoked, comes in a slab, and is used in cooking. If you want to get to know Pancetta on a new level, Pancetta Piacentina DOP is the exquisite cured pork belly that is rolled, meant to be sliced thinly, and eaten without cooking. Once the meat is received, the pork belly is massaged with a proprietary blend of salt and spices, it is rolled by hand, and aged with the skin on, which is later removed before it arrives in the U.S. Because of the abundant marbling of fat, the flavor is buttery and sweet. Fat doesn’t absorb salt during aging, just the meat, so the more fat a meat has, the sweeter it will taste. It makes a killer pizza topping, but make sure to add thin slices to the pizza after it’s finished baking so it doesn’t melt away. 2/2kg
Coppa Piacentina DOP
Coppa Piacentina DOP is dry-cured pork shoulder – two coppe can be made from each pig. The meat is seasoned with salt and spices and rolled into natural pig casing. It has a compact interior with some marbling of meat and fat, but not to the extent that the Pancetta does. Our Coppa slow ages for six months – Piacenza is known for aging its signature meats longer than the rest of Italy. After aging its final month in a natural cantina, the Coppa develops a meaty texture and delicate, well-balanced flavor that is not too sweet or too salty. It will shine on a cheese board with Sapore Mitica®, Crab Apple Mostarda Casa Forcello®, and Toketti crackers. 4/900g
Salame Piacentino DOP
Salame Piacentino DOP is a harder salami that tradition dictates should be thick-cut with a knife. One kilo of fresh meat is used for each 800g sausage, which gives you an idea of how the curing process reduces water weight and concentrates the flavor of the meat. This salame has a rustic, coarse grain of meat and fat and a slightly spicy, sweet, and mellow flavor with the delicate aroma of seasoned meat. The best kind of lunch would involve this sausage, crusty bread, and maybe a tiny drizzle of Acacia Honey Mitica®. 6/800g, 12/280g coming soon
Though the rest of our new meats are not DOP, our producer takes no less care in making them, maintaining their very high standards for each product. Though it hasn’t been on the market long, our Guanciale is already a hit. This Italian cooking staple, made from pork jowl, is the original ingredient for Carbonara or Amatriciana sauces. It is fattier and less meaty than its relative, bacon, and should be cooked very slowly over low heat to let the fat melt and flavor the sauce. The velvety texture and robust flavor it gains from its three months of aging put it in its own category – you must try it. 8/350g
Salame Milano & Salame Tartufo
Salami are common throughout Piacenza and besides the DOP sausage, we have added two other varieties to our Mitica® line. Salame Milano is a mild sausage that lets the flavor of the meat shine. Finely ground meat and fat are combined with a blend of spices to give it light seasoning, but the overall flavor is mellow and not spicy or overly salty. For those who crave salami with a stronger flavor like black truffle, our Salame Tartufo is made with shaved black truffle, which perfumes and flavors the 2-month-aged sausage without overpowering the savory meat. All of these new sausages have the casings removed before packaging, so you can grab a knife and get right to snacking. Milano: 8/800g, Tartufo 6/800g
Piacenza has been a hub for salumi production for thousands of years, and artifacts exist today that back up how important pigs were to the culture. Pig farming the region of region dates back to 1000 B.C. Archaeological digs uncovered a bronze talisman of a pig in the midst of Roman ruins. And in the Basilica of San Columbano in Bobbio, you can see a 12th century mosaic on the floor featuring the sacred rite of the pig slaughter.