The production of Salame Felino IGP

The Salame Felino IGP takes its name from the village near the city of Parma, in Emilia Romagna province, where it was produced for the first time. The history of this salami is deeply linked with the history of Fereoli family, whom members were renowned butchers in the little town already in the 19th century.
This ancient tradition has been handed down one generation to another and today Fereoli Gino & Figlio stores this precious knowledge and produces a delicious salami.
The firm was founded by Gino, Luigi’s father, in 1965 and today it is run by the nephew Luca who continues the production of the traditional Salame Felino thanks to the help of 15 employees.
We interviewed Luca Fereoli with the aim of discover the secrets of this excellent product.

Luca, your firm has a centennial tradition in the production of Salame Felino. What has changed over the years?
The main change is the introduction of the refrigeration system in the second post-war period. This invention allowed us to produce the Salame Felino not only during the winter but even during the summer.
Another important change due to the technology development is the computerize control of the drying rooms where our salami rests for the first 5-6 days. My grandfather used to manage the temperatures by using a wood stove and water; today we just have to set up temperature and humidity levels on our computer.
In spite of the technology, the decision to take off the product from the drying room is always take by the man after touching the products.

What production choices are you maintaining in order to not change the traditional characteristics of the product?
The raw material and the type of casing.
We use only refined cuts of the pig and we grind them here. We select only 2 kg of raw material from a pig of the weight of 170 kg, and we select only pig farmed and butchered in Italy.
The rest and the cooling of the product are very important phases for us, both before and after the grinding. The careful work during these steps allow us to obtain a compact meat, reducing the use of additives below the law level.
As for the casing, we use only the “gentle casing”, the last part of the pig’s intestine and not the synthetic one, normally used by the industries.

Which are the characteristics of a high quality Salame Felino IGP?
It has to be “sweet” and delicate because we use a low quantity of salt. Even the seasoning is very light: we use whole grains of black peppers to give to the customer the chance to keep it or not.
It hasn’t skin or sinews because we use only selected cuts.

Which are the production steps of the Salame Felino IGP?
First we receive the pork cuts by the butcher, which is a whole piece of the size of a rib eye.
Then, we grind the meat adding the salt and the other ingredients for the seasoning.
After this, we put the meat in the casing and we tie it by hand with a single piece of rope. Before tieing, we rub the casing with a fork to adjust the thickness and guarantee a perfect drying of the salami.
So it begins the drying phase and finally the maturing for at least 50 days, the perfect maturation time to obtain a Salame Felino IGP that melts in the mouth.

Giulia Basso