Culatello is one of the most pretigious "Salami" of the Italian tradition, it originates in the
Parma province and in particular from the Zibello area.
Parma is a region famous for the quality of its pigs and the fantastic array of charcuterie, made
from almost every part of the locally reared animals.
Parma has the ideal climate for raising pigs and many generations of local producers have mastered the art of
curing and preserving the meats.
The most expensive and highest quality cut is Culatello, which has fantastic flavours and a texture
which almost melts in the mouth.
It is made from the muscular rear legs of the pig, with the skin and bones removed, matured in the
ars on the banks of the river Po and of the lower Parma.
Taking Prosciutto as reference which is made from the internal thigh, culatello is obtained from maturing
only the rear musclc of the thigh, for at least 12 months.
Its weight varies from 3 to 5 kg; its form is charateristcally pear shaped.
To obtain a culatello you have to "disassemble" a pig-thigh, giving up its use for an already valuble
product such as "prosciutto"; this together with the craftsmans workmanship, the lengthy maturing
and its pleasurable taste explain the particularly high cost.
It is important that before eating the culatello has been well matured;
freed from the string, scrubbed with care.
Once softened, the skin must be removed, the external fat perfectly trimmed away and cut into
thin sces preferably by hand.
How to keep it.
To best keep culatello, wrap it up in a cloth, best if linen, and kept in a cool place which must not
be a fridge which would deaden the taste.
Culatello in its magnificence, is able to co-habitate with the highest personality, as well as with s
imple and popular resources. We advise the elegant and cheeky dry Malvasia, or Fortana d'annata of
a good year, a red wine slightly fizzy.
INFORMATION AND CURIOSITIES
Culatello di Zibello PDO is produced (only 50,000 per year) by
about 20 farms in the typical area (Bassa Parmense) with swine raised in
northern Italy and nourished according to DOP regulations.
There is also Culatello di Parma which is produced outside the typical
The history of Culatello (fine-cured pork loin) perhaps dates back
to the 1300s. The Pallavicino family, Lords of Bassa Parmese (a
slice of territory north of - and including Parma - which runs from the
Po River to the slopes of the Enza and Ongica mountains), each year
donated Culatello di Zibello to the Sforza family of Milan, as “cosa
rara et squisitissima (something rare and exquisite)”. Giuseppe
Verdi, a native of the “culatello” area appreciated it and offered
it to his friends.