Cured Meats

Where do cured meats come from?

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Where do cured meats come from?

Posted on: Tue Jan 15 2019
Cured meats are so delicious, but do you know where they came from? Cured meats, or salumi as they are known in Italy, first came about to solve the problem of meat rotting or going off quickly.

Curing the meat - either by smoking, air-drying or salting - provided a handy solution which allowed people to eat the meat over a longer period of time. Before modern refrigeration, this was vital!

The reduced water content of the meat and the preservation powers of the salt discouraged the growth of microbes and bacteria. So meat lasted longer, was safe to eat and as an extra bonus, it was tasty too.

The Amazing Variety of Italian Cured Meats

All over the world, people have been curing meat for centuries. Italy, in particular, has developed amazing techniques to cure meat, with strong traditions that date back to the Roman era.

The Italians have developed a surprising array of cured meats, from prosciutto to pancetta, salami and more.

They vary from region to region, although some methods became popular across the country.

Each variation of cured meat has its own unique taste, due to the combination of ingredients, the fat content, the seasoning, where they came from and the method used.

You might detect an element of sweetness or a lot of spice; salumi can be strong and flavoursome or delicate and light.

But they are culinary masterpieces, bringing together the best flavours and techniques. Italian salumi can be divided into two main categories - whole cuts of meat that are cured, and meat that has been minced or chopped and served in a casing.

Beef bresaola - Dry-cured Lean Beef

Bresaola, made most often from beef but occasionally from pork or venison, is dry-cured over a period of 2-3 months. The process begins by cutting off all the fat from a whole beef muscle cut and then rubbing it with spices which normally include nutmeg, cinnamon, juniper berries, cloves and garlic.

These spices combine and infuse in the meat over several months to create the unique and mouth-watering taste and the distinctive darker colour. Bresaola is pricey but worth it, as you can use it sparingly and still get the flavour hit.

Beef bresaola should be sliced very thinly to get the full experience. It's best served sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice and grated parmesan, accompanied by crusty bread - simple yet spectacular! It also makes a delicious topping for focaccia.

Wild boar Sausage - an Italian Delicacy

Wild boar sausage is a lean meat with distinctive flavour, often described as nutty, gamey or acorny. The wild boar's natural foraging diet contributes to this truly original taste, unlike pork or other cured meat sausages.

The sausages continue to be made to a traditional Sardinian method and formed in the shape of a horseshoe. Wild boar sausages are the perfect addition to many dishes, from stews and casseroles to pasta, or a tasty snack to complement a bottle of full-bodied red wines.

Fennel Sausage

Fennel Sausage is an ancient secret of Sardinia. The wild fennel seeds, simultaneously sweet and bitter, give a fresh and unique taste to this horseshoe-shaped sausage. Due to the strong flavour of the fennel, these sausages team well with milder foods where they can shine as the star of the meal. Fennel sausages add a kick to a meal at any time of day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

You can slice fennel sausages to liven up a bowl of pasta and a side salad. They also make an excellent accompaniment to Sardinian blue cheese and a good bottle of red for a relaxed and delicious evening of great food and great conversation!

Organic Salami

Salami can lay claim to more than 2,000 years of rich history around the Mediterranean. Roman soldiers were paid in salt, which they would use to make salami. Our organic salami is created with the best of ingredients: wild fennel seeds, red wine, and Italian pork meat. These ingredients infuse together and give a savory, spicy taste to this salami.

Our organic salami is delicious combined with a glass of cold white wine, chunks of Percorino cheese and some rustic Sardinian bread. You can also chop it and add it to omelettes and pasta dishes or combine it with rice and vegetables for a filling main meal.

Sardinian Salami
Salami holds an important place in Sardinian food culture. These cured meats are recognised as a symbol of the island due to the central role they play in the lives and meals of Sardinians, past and present.

Made from ground pork meat, mixed with salt, spices and seasonings and pork fat, and encased to hold all the goodness together.

Our Sardinian salami is lightly cured and made with pork that has been meticulously selected for the best quality. You can create a tasty appetizer platter with thin slices of Sardinian salami, artichoke hearts in oil, organic black olives and Pecorino cheese. Serve with a bottle of Sardinian wine to draw the flavours out!

Pork Brawn

Pork brawn is one of the most commonly found cured meats in Sardinia, made from meat of the head of the pig. The method of preparing pork brawn is by simmering this meat in boiling salted water, which allows the meat to fall off and the gelatin to be rendered until it becomes a jelly-like consistency.

Traditionally, making pork brawn would take a whole day, as the meat and liquid are simmered over a low heat until the concoction reaches the right consistency.

Then it is left to set. Pork brawn is very tender, with light spicing. Being low in fat, it can be eaten with no concerns for health! You can make a hearty sandwich with thin slices of pork brawn.

Add mustard or Italian cheeses if you like! Slice thicker to serve alone as a cold meat platter or part of a main meal.

Truffle Ham

Truffle ham truly is a luxury meat like no other. We all know that truffles are the most expensive food in the world, due to their rarity, and the difficulty in growing and finding them.

Truffles must be sought out by experts with specially trained dogs or pigs who can sniff the truffles out from where they grow in the roots of trees. Made from real flakes of black Italian truffles, this truffle ham will not disappoint. Both sweet and lean, truffle ham is as good for you as it is delicious.

With a delicate, unique taste, nothing else quite compares to truffle ham. Serve this truffle ham up as the crown in the jewel of a celebratory meal, or for sumptuous canapes on a special day. You won't forget this dish in a long time!

Duck Ham

This cured duck ham is the result of an old family artisan recipe which has been passed down from generation to generation for decades. Locally grown Italian oranges made the perfect complement to the duck meat, which is roasted to perfection.

This duck ham is succulent, tasty and tender. With a unique taste and scent, lightness and sweetness from the oranges and the deep flavour of the duck, this ham is like none other.

You can enjoy this ham both hot or cold. Create appetizers by stuffing a date with creamy goat's cheese and topping with flakes of duck ham and toasted pecans.

Or if that's too complicated and you just want to soak up the flavours of the meat, slice thinly and enjoy on crusty focaccia bread.

Mortadella with Pistachio IGP

Mortadella originated in Bologna and then became popular across Italy. The pork meat was traditionally ground with a large pestle and mortar, then mixed with spices including pepper, either ground or whole, pistachios and myrtle berries.

Now Mortadella is regulated for quality and provenance, and our Mortadella meets the IGP standards. Our delicious organic mortadella has small pieces of pistachio which give it a delightfully nutty flavour without overpowering the spices and the meat.

Serve it with the best balsamic vinegar and thin, crispy music paper bread for a flavoursome light meal.

Cooked Ham with Herbs

Our cooked ham with herbs is made with pork form pigs raised in Friuli Venezia Giulia according to time-honoured artisan traditions which have been preserved for centuries.

These traditions are proudly continued as they create a unique and superior prosciutto, using special kilns to slow roast the ham.

Prosciutto ham, dry and salty and delicately flavoured with herbs local to Friuli, tasted great when paired with mozzarella cheese and black olives.

It also makes a great accompaniment to fruit, with the sweet juices of the cantaloupe melon especially complimenting the aromatic, herby ham. Pair with a glass of prosecco for a delightful meal. 

Pork Lard

Pork lard has long been used in Italian cuisine as it goes hand in hand with the other well-loved pork products favoured across Italy. Lard is the hard fat of the pig, cured with spices and herbs.

We cure our Sardinian pork lard with sea salt and myrtle, a spice which was commonly used all the way back to the Roman times.

We continue to use traditional methods dating back centuries, as they create rustic, hearty, superior products - you really can taste the difference. Lard has long been used in Ital If you slice this paper thin, it is delicious just as it is, on top of crusty bread. It makes a great antipasti - you can serve it with olives and cheeses too.

You can also use pork lard chopped up in dishes. It gives a deeper flavour to your dishes, especially if wrapped in thin slices around another cut of meat.


Guanciale is cured pig's cheek, dried and cured for a minimum of 3 months. This drying and curing process gives it an intense flavour. Guanciale is so versatile, and just a little goes a long way. Thanks to the strong flavour, you only need a small amount of guanciale to add a lot of depth and flavour to your food.

Wrap a slice of guanciale around another cut of meat or fish to play with flavour combinations. Guanciale is also a traditional ingredient to add to dishes like spaghetti alla carbonara, always a family favourite which everyone will tuck into.

Italian Porchetta

Italian porchetta is an incredible pork roast. The carcass is deboned and stuffed with aromatic herbs and spices like fennel, rosemary, garlic and other wild herbs before being slowly roasted over a wood fire for several hours. The result is an amazing smoky, woody, herby taste combined with tender, succulent meat.

Porchetta originally came from Arricia in central Italy and is often prepared for celebrations and special days. Porchetta is excellent served as a main dish with a Caprese salad of mozzarella, sliced tomato and salad greens, and ciabatta bread.

Smoked Pork Belly

Our smoked pork belly, or 'pancetta sarda affumicata', is prepared according to artisan traditions dating back centuries. We cure our smoked pork belly with salt and pepper, seasoned to perfection but not overwhelming the flavour of the top-quality meat we used. It has a sweet, delicate and yet spicy taste.

Professional chefs love using smoked pork belly for its rustic flavour and its versatility. It tastes divine served drizzled with an Italian salse verde of chives, parsley, oregano, lemon juice and olive oil. Have a hunk of bread handy to mop up all the juices!

Speck Ham

Speck ham is prepared in a similiar way to prosciutto - cured, but then it is also smoked. This creates a distinctive moreish flavour - sweet with the hint of smoke.

Speck ham has a more subtle flavour than many other cured meats. We use juniper, black pepper and other spices to season our speck ham. Slice thinly and enjoy on our Sardinian bread, washed down with a glass of local Sardinian wine. You'll really enjoy the combination of flavours! You can also use speck ham in pasta and rice dishes.

Lonza Meat

Lonza meat is a premium cut of boneless pork loin. This is meat from the muscle alongside the spine of the pig - normally it has a good thick chunk of fat which gives an amazing taste to the lonza sarda.

Lonza will be the star of your charcuterie board, and you can use it to make brilliant appetizers that your guests will ask for again and again. You want it to be wafer thin - it should almost melt in your mouth!

Pork Coppa

Sardinian Pork Coppa is salted, lightly air-cured and flavoured with herbs and spices for a delicate, deep flavour. The herbs complement the best quality meat we use in all our products. Serve with our olive cream and baby artichokes for memorable and delicious antipasto.

Lamb Prosciutto

If you want to try something a little different, try our delectable lamb prosciutto. Something for fans of lamb or if you want to branch out from our traditional salumi range.

The meat cut is deboned, salted, spiced and seasoned, and then dry-cured in the traditional method. It is fantastic thinly sliced and served with roasted vegetables and potatoes for a main meal.

Alternatively, have it as a started with pecorino cheese and crusty Sicilian bread.

Wild Boar Prosciutto

Our wild boar prosciutto has an amazing flavour which will make you want to keep coming back for more. An added bonus is that the meat is very lean, so you can eat guilt-free and savour the aromatic flavours.

Try it served thinly sliced on carasau bread, with our artichoke hearts to complement it. Wash it down with your favourite aperitif. Enjoy!

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