Culatello and Lambrusco: Story of My Life

For the third and final day of our cured meat stage we were given the pleasure to go to a small-family owned pig farm/bed and breakfast (I promise it was way more appealing than it seems) called Antica Corte Pallavicina in a very small town outside of Parma called Polesine Parmense. At this small family owned farm, they produce about 6,000 culatelli a year.. I guess I should start by saying that Culatello is the prime part of the prosciutto, the fattier part of the leg, and it is extremely work intensive.

In order to prepare a culatello, the fresh meat is soaked in a mixture of wine, garlic, salt, pepper, and sets for a week. After this week this part of the pig butt (culo=butt, its namesake) it is tied up, extremely tight, and allowed to cure for at least a year. The conditions in this particular region are prime for curing culatello because of the humidity and weather patterns.

Culatello is MUCH more expensive than regular prosciutto, selling between 60-110 euro/kg depending on the type of pig that is used. It has a much sweeter taste than regular prosciutto as well.

Then we went to the Lambrusco and Sparkling wines producer “Ceci” to have an exclusive look at how these wines are produced. Lambrusco, to many, is known as the “Coca-Cola” of wines, as it is a young wine, usually only left to ferment for 4-5 months, and has a lower alcohol content than other wines (between 10-11%), it’s price is also an indication as even good bottles don’t sell for more than 5E a bottle.

While all the technical explanations were interesting, the tasting at the end was obviously the most appreciated portion of our tour 😉
Here is a quick video demonstrating the process of tying up a Culatello di Zibello, very work intensive.

After these 3 days of meat, I literally feel like I’m turning into a prosciutto… Salad, salad, salad, this is my new mantra.

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