Culatello is an exclusive type of meat found in the Italian regions. With an origin dating back to the 15th century, this dish is one of the crown jewels of the Italian cuisine. The flatlands to the north of the Parma province of Italy serve as the production house for culatello. The Po River flowing nearby adds to the development and growth of the dish.
With the perfect climate for breeding and aging the meat, Zibello City is strategically placed as the production factory for culatello. The aroma and the sweetness in the meat comes from the thick fogs over River Po and the nail biting winters of Zibello, making it quite exclusive.
Culatello is basically the hind legs of pigs who are specially bred in the Emilia Romagna and the Lombardy regions of Italy. After the meat is processed, it is wrapped in twine which gives it its iconic pear shape. The meat is then wrapped as pork bladder and is stored away in a cool place. The secret of Culatello is based on the fact that it is washed in white wine before serving, putting the dish on the top of the Italian cuisine card.
Antica corte Pallavincina
The Antica corte Pallavincina is a castle estate in the Polesine Parmese province of Italy. Housed on the Parma lowlands, this estate is one of the best places in Italy where you can take a quick bite of Cutello. The magnificent estate with its kitchen gardens, ancient castle cellars and the vast lands for grazing are a treat to the eyes and an experience to remember.
Apart from the kitchen gardens and the grazing farmlands, a visit to Cremona will set you adrift on memory lanes. It is a city where street dwellers will mesmerize you with their violins and melodious music, soft enough to cool your restless nerves. Musical maestro G.Verdi’s house and the parish church are some of the must visit spots if you wish to relive the olden times. There is also a museum dedicated in the honour of G.Guareschi, the famous writer of Don Camillo stories.
The highlight of the trip still remains the visit to the cellars of the ancient castle. The cellars have been in operation since 1320, where they were used to mature cheese obtained from the farm and to cure the salami produce. The dukes of Milan and the highest ranking nobles were treated to the famous salami from the cellars of Corte. The cellars also hold cookery classes as well as candle light dinners and a briefing about the local heritage.
Al Vedel (Podere-Cadassa)
Al Vedel is located in the Colorno region of the Parma farmlands. This site in the PO valley is also known as the Italian food valley and dates back to the 18th century. The farmhouse was converted into a meat processing centre and a restaurant by the Bergonzi family, so as to highlight the gastronomical culture of Parma. The area is famous for its culinary culture as is evidenced by its creativity in making traditional dishes like the Cutello.
Podere Cadassa offers a tour of this ancient gastronomy centre. There’s a restaurant, a ham storage section as well as the beautiful cottage gardens, culatello cellars, outdoor sittings, meat processing area etc. The place offers an insight about the age old traditions and the recipes of the region. They believe in always adding flair something that is already excellent.
The culatello cellars are lined from the floor to the ceilings with the twinned hams. There is also a mention of the date and the quality on each and every meat present in the cellar. The processing and the making of the fine Culatello is indeed a visual treat for anyone present there. The cellars also boast of a live tasting section of the fresh culatello mixed wand dried with the wine.
Bre del Gallo
Bre del Gallo lies on the banks of river Po in the small village of Fontanelle di Roccabianca. It is managed by the Magnani family, a family whose generations have farmed on the Parma land. Their primary duty is to safeguard the ancient flavours of the region. Today, Bre del Gallo uses modern technology and the highest standards of food tasting in its management of regional dishes.
Termed as the slow food capital of the world, this Parma territory is home to one of the finest meat processing centres as well as vast farms, Culatello cellars and even the wine tasting cellars. The processing done here is of the highest standards, using modern machinery and traditional expertise. The farmlands, cottage and the Po River are all visible from this estate. The best season to visit and experience the true beauty of the farm is the Winter season from November to January.
The Culatello cellars focus on quality using modern methods. From meat cutting to twinning, from wrapping in pork to washing with wine, every process is explained and demonstrated in detail in the cellars. The tasting of the iconic dish follows these processes, making it an on-the-go cookery master session.
La fattoria di Parma lies between Parma and Fidenza on the Via Emilia. It is one of the training centres and production factories for the salami and culatello dishes. It regularly conducts educational workshops for nutrition students so as to enlighten them about the techniques of mass production for preserving the local flavours. There are also factory tours for industry professionals.
The territory includes meat processing centres, salami factories, farmlands, culatello tasting-centre, as well as culatello cellars among the other facilities. There is also a gift wrapping section where visitors can view the wrapping of processed ham into packages. From the breeding section of the pigs to the butchery, everything is well-maintained on the farm grounds. The quality of culatello at the La fattoria factory comes from their specially bred pigs of the local farms.
A visit to the culatello cellars is unlike a visit to any other farm in the Parma region. The selection of pigs, butchery and the quality marking process describe how the ham selected is made into culatello. The final dish, served with wine, is to be enjoyed in the cool weather of the farm. These cellars offer a glimpse in the art of making the culatello as one of Italy’s most sought after dishes.
Some of the most iconic dishes taste best when they are prepared in their original habitat. Culatello is one such dish; a dish which can be best experienced in the Parma province of Italy, the original place of the Italian gastronomical marvel. The fact that it is prepared with the traditional techniques, the original ingredients and the ancient processes makes Culatello one of Italy’s culinary wonder dishes.