Italian Meat Products (Salumi)

  1. Sausages - salame, cotechino, soppressata, luganiga, zampone, mortadella.
  2. Whole meat cuts - ham (prosciutto), shoulder (spalla), neck (capocollo), belly (pancetta), an aged fillet of rump (culatello), smoked flank (speck).

The meat products that have managed to obtain certifications are listed below, but keep in mind that there are hundreds of similar products which are not registered and they are all good. For example there are seven Prosciutto Ham registrations but thousands of prosciutto hams are made every day by meat processors and home sausage makers. They may differ slightly in their formulations but after all they are all dry hams.

Can anyone produce an equivalent ham, let’s say Spanish Jamón Serrano or Italian Prosciutto di S. Danielle? Well, ham imitation can certainly be made but it will be almost impossible to produce an exact replica. With our modern computerized climate control chambers we can simulate the atmospheric conditions that prevail anywhere in the world, so depending on the climate is of lesser importance.

The factor that we can not replicate is the flavor of meat that comes from pigs that grow in a particular region. A pig grows very fast and the texture and flavor of its meat depends largely on its diet. Most of those animals graze freely in fields being fed a strictly controlled natural feed. Spanish pigs roam in oak forests and eat plenty of oak acorns. This alone affects the structure and color of the fat and the proportion of fat to lean.

A person living in a large city is at the mercy of a local supermarket where he obtains his meat. This meat has come from pigs that were raised on a commercial, supplemented with antibiotics diet, and the pigs were raised in different areas in the fastest possible way in order to obtain the highest return on investment. The quality of the meat will not compare to that which was produced on a small farm in Spain or Italy. This does not mean that one can not produce a wonderful ham at home. The point we are trying to make is that it will be impossible to exactly copy one of those registered European products. The main reason that those products have obtained those certificates is that they are so unique.

Italian Meat products carrying European Certificates of Origin:

Italy Prosciutto di S. Danielle, PDO 21/06/1996
Salame di Varzi, PDO 21/06/1996
Soprèssa Vicentina, PDO 19/03/2003
Valle d’Aosta Lard d’Arnad, PDO 02/07/1996
Valle d’Aosta Jambon de Bosses, PDO 02/07/1996
Soppressata di Calambria, PDO 21/01/1998
Salciccia di Calambria, PDO 21/01/1998
Salamini italiani alla cacciatora, PDO 08/09/2001
Salame Piacentino, PDO 02/07/1996
Salame Brianza, PDO 21/06/1996
Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo, PDO 21/06/1996
Prosciutto Toscano, PDO 02/07/1996
Prosciutto di Parma, PDO 05/02/2008
Prosciutto di Modena, PDO 21/06/1996
Prosciutto di Carpegna, PDO 02/07/1996
Pancetta Placentina, PDO 02/07/1996
Pancetta di Calabria, PDO 21/01/1998
Culatello di Zibello, PDO 02/07/1996
Coppa Placentina, PDO 02/07/1996
Capocollo di Calambria, PDO 21/01/1998
Ciauscolo PGI, 11/08/2009
Speck dell’Alto Adige, PGI 13/06/1997
Zampone Modena, PGI 19/03/1999
Salame S.Angelo, PGI 26/09/2008
Salame d’oca di Mortara, PGI 25/06/2004
Salame Cremona, PGI 23/11/2007
Prosciutto di Norcia, PGI 13/06/1997
Lardo di Colonnata, PGI 27/10/2004
Cotechino Modena PGI, 19/03/1999
Breasola della Valtellina PGI, 02/07/1996

pdo PDO - Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) - covers the term used to describe foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognized know-how.
pgi PGI - Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) - the geographical link must occur in at least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation.
tsg Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) - does not refer to the origin but highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production.

The complete list for all European countries can be obtained from the European Commision/Agriculture & Rural Development:

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/schemes/index_en.htm