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 - 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 - Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) - the geographical link must occur in at least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation.


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

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Spanish Sausages

There is a negligible amount of information on Spanish sausages in English, and even the Spanish books offer only a few recipes with general information, very skimpy instructions and hardly any explanations. "Spanish Sausages, Authentic Recipes and Instructions" fills this void and the readers will know not only what is a chorizo, longaniza, salchichón, fuet, morcilla, butifarra, salchicha, sobrasada, fiambre, androlla, butelo, morcón as well as many others, but also learn how to make each sausage. Of special interest is a collection of 200 recipes which were chosen for their originality and historical value. The book is a highly recommended addition to personal and professional culinary additions.

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