Fiocchetto and Culatello di Zibello DOP of the Carraglia family: brothers separated at birth
⏱ 2 MINUTES READING
When gastronomy enthusiasts hear about Emilia-Romagna they immediately think of some territories, pulsating centers of Italian agri-food production, rich in gastronomic excellences, expression of stories, cultures and traditions. Today we explore the Bassa Parmense territory, the piece of land in the north of Parma, to rediscover one of our dear forgotten products, a close relative of the Culatello di Zibello DOP: the Fiocchetto.
Fiocchetto and Culatello are two cured meats that can be defined as brothers separated at birth because in addition to the same anatomical origin (pork leg) they have several traits in common, such as the production technique, the maturing environments and, in our case, also the producer: Ernestino Carraglia of the CroceDelizia company.
The entirely artisanal processing is identical to that of Culatello: Fiocchetto is trimmed and then treated with salt, pepper and garlic.
Once salted, the Fiocchetto is left to rest for a few days before proceeding to stuffing and binding: a very important and critical stage of processing.
The bows are stuffed into natural blisters or casings and then tied; the binding must be precise, expert hands weave the strings around the gut and tighten them at the right point; the right pressure, together with the microclimate of the terracotta cellars, will help drainage and mark the slow and constant rhythm of the maturation which lasts at least 12 months.
The resulting product is a totally natural, lean, sweet and melt-in-the-mouth salami: in short, worthy of any self-respecting cutting board.
4 THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT THIS PRODUCT
The history of the CroceDelizia company is intertwined with that of the Ernestino Carraglia family, which over time renews and preserves the pork-butchery tradition of the Bassa Parmense area. Heir to the ancient profession of the "masalen", who dedicated themselves to the processing of pigs in the ancient farmsteads of the area, Ernestino Carraglia today runs a laboratory for the processing and aging of the most authentic Parma traditional cured meats.
The Fiocchetto of the Emilian tradition comes from the same thigh of the Culatello: after the extraction of the breech for the production of the famous PDO salami, in fact, the Fiocchetto remains, a muscular piece used for the homonymous product.
We are located in the Culatello di Zibello DOP area, areas characterized by cold, long and foggy winters, and hot and sunny summers, around the banks of the Po in the villages of Busseto, Polesine Parmense, Zibello, Soragna, Roccabianca, San Secondo, Sissa and Colorno. The dry and wet periods alternate and allow the slow maturation of the cured meats, during which the unmistakable aromas and flavors that have made them famous in the world develop, among which Culatello and Strolghino stand out.
How is the Fiocchetto cut and preserved? First you need to free it from the ropes and wash it under cold water. Then you have to brush it to eliminate moulds and immerse it for a day in a container with white wine. Remove the skin, clean the salami from impurities and cut into thin slices. Once opened, to prevent it from drying out, it should be wrapped in a wet cloth before being stored in a cool, dry place.
Gianluca Di Lello