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Tales of the Marche - The Salame di Fabriano

Luigi Silvestri

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Nowadays they just don’t make salami like this any longer; Fabriano is the only place where you can still find them.

The famous Salame di Fabriano is a product so special that it not only has a history dating back to the 1800s, but today it is a Slow Food “Presidium” product. And what’s more, a Consortium of Producers has been founded to safeguard production and ensure that the rules and regulations that govern it are strictly observed.  Our readers will wonder what is so different about this particular item, making it so highly rated in Marche cuisine. We are about to tell you. 

The pig must be at least one year old, must have been raised locally and must have been fed a diet of acorns and natural grain meals made from barley, wild broad beans and corn. Now imagine taking the leanest and choicest meats, such as the thigh and shoulder, then choosing the best fat, and that would be from the back and the loin, to make your salami. 

Some would say that this means giving up the prosciutto … well, yes, that is precisely the trade-off in order to make this extraordinary Salame di Fabriano  - give up the prosciutto for the salami!  The meats are then cut up and ground several times, pushed through progressively finer bronze draw-plates and the lard is cut up into cubes; salt is added and pepper (both ground and whole peppercorns), along with a dash of white wine.

This whole mixture – with  no chemical additives - is thoroughly blended together and then stuffed into a natural casing, preferably a large intestine.  In the old days, the freshly made salamis were hung hear the fireplace in the old country farmhouses, for their initial drying phase. The Salame di Fabriano is still hung for two or three days in a room with a fireplace, so it can slowly begin to dry by the heat of the fire.

The ageing process is then continued for at least three months at a temperature of 14° C and humidity of about 80%. For obvious reasons, the rules and regulations forbid production during the hottest months of the year, limiting it to the period between September and May. Before it is marketed commercially, the Salame di Fabriano is tied and labeled and a special seal is affixed, as a guarantee to the consumer.

The best way to taste this delectable treat is to cut slices on the diagonal; the meat should have a nice, deep red color, look very compact and the lard cubes should be very white. The whole peppercorns you’ll find here and there, will regale you with a burst of flavor.

Enjoy!   (www.salamedifabriano.it)

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