Pancetta di Calabria (Calabrian pancetta)

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Pancetta di Calabria

DOP Pancetta di Calabria aka Salumi di Calabria: Soppressala, Capocollo, Salsiccia and Pancetta are matured sausages, some in pork casings, made from meat from pigs reared in Calabria, in compliance with the product specification, and with added natural seasoning. Maturing times vary from thirty to a hundred days, according to the product. Shapes vary according to the product but correspond to the descriptions in Article 4 of the product specification, reflecting traditional working methods, some of which involve processing by hand.

Geographical area: Products bearing the geographical designation "Calabria" must be produced using pork from pigs reared in Calabria, where the meat must also be prepared and processed.

Proof of origin: The origins of Calabrian sausages almost certainly go back to the time when the Greeks colonised the Ionian coastline and greatly influenced local culture by means of their settlements in Southern Italy. There is historical evidence of pigmeat being processed as far back as the seventeenth century. The first written reference dates from that time and can be found in a work entitled Delia Calabria Illustrata which mentions widespread use of the special method of processing pigmeat. Centuries-old traditions have been preserved down the other things, of the spreading popularity of Calabrian gastronomic specialities. More recently sausage-making in Calabria was recorded in statistics published following the censuses carried out at the beginning of the nineteenth century under Joachim Murat. There is also evidence in those documents of the use of herbs and spices from local plants to enhance the favour of the meat. The typical characteristics have been retained and the special production techniques used in the region make possible production of high organoleptic quality.

Method of production: The sausages of Calabria are produced in different ways, depending on the type, as indicated in the production specification, i.e.:

Soppressala di Calabria consists of a mixture of meat minced medium-fine, taken from hams and shoulders of pork, and selected fat and natural seasonings. It has a slightly flattened cylindrical shape and is matured for an average period of time;

Capocollo di Calabria is taken from the upper loin, which is boned and dry-salted, with a layer of fat that permits a particular type of curing. It is tied in a traditional manner and is cylindrical in form;

Salsiccia di Calabria consists of meat taken from the shoulder and the lower belly ribs of the pig, with back fat and natural seasonings, filled in natural pork casings, and is hand-twisted into the characteristic chain form. It is matured in a short to average time;

Pancetta di Calabria derives from the lower belly of the pig, including the rind. It is cut in a characteristic rectangular form, salted and matured for a short to average period of time

Link: Products of designated origin must depend upon environmental, natural and human factors. The area involved in the production of "Capocollo/Pancetta/Salsiccia/Soppressata di Calabria" is influenced by the typically Southern Italian climate, with little rain mostly concentrated in the winter period and by a geographical position that enables it to take advantage of particular air movements and temperature ranges. The combination of raw material, product and designation is closely linked with the socio-economic development of the area, influencing certain local traditions and customs. In particular, the raw material comes from heavy pigs with characteristics of the Italian lines and fed on vegetable products typical of the area. In addition, the natural aromatic essences (cumin, black pepper, [[red pepper]], chilli) have been retained in processing and influence the organoleptic quality of the products. The four types of sausage thus share a link, owing to the climate of the region, the pigs' feed and human factors.

Gastronomy: DOP Pancetta di Calabria should ideally be kept in cool dry place. This charcuterie product can be eaten raw, thinly sliced or cooked. In the Calabrian gastronomic tradition, it is often paired with the classic local salted bread, which is cooked in a wood-burning oven. DOP Pancetta di Calabria is used as an ingredient in various traditional Italian and regional recipes: pasta all’Amatriciana and Carbonara, with fresh broad beans or cooked legumes and polenta.

Reference: The European Commission

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