Marche Food & Wine


Pork Products

The tradition of pork products is deeply connected to sharecropping. Much attention was and is given to these animals’ diet. Fed on with acorns and mash, pork used to be slaughtered in winter times when there was shortage of food and low temperatures, to preserve its flesh. 

The need to make the best use of pork fat lead to the creation of Fabriano Salame and Ciauscolo

We find some hints of Fabriano Salame in the mercuriali of the 17th and 18th centuries, which refer to them as more expensive than ham. From Caprera, Giuseppe Garibaldi (the Italian leader) was grateful for the gift of mixture of lean pork meat, lacking in fat and nerves, subtly grinded, combined with 120 small pieces of lard and 24 cube-shaped and mixed with salt and pepper: all this put into a gentle sausage skin. Fabriano salame production is raising in the high Esino valley, in compliance with the techniques of preparation: selection of meat, time of maturing (ten days in rooms with a fireplace) and of seasoning (three or fou months in a cellar or loft). 

, ciavuscolo, ciabbusulu (probably from ciabusculum, small food) in the most typical example of pork product of Le Marche. Similar to French pâté and good to be spread on bread, it is produced within the provinces of Macerata, Ascoli Piceno and Ancona. There is a strong bond between food and the peasant culture: salami, boiled eggs, omelette, “crescia”, cheese and spring wine were offered to the field workers. Traditionally the most used are the tastiest parts (lean shoulder meat, ham, bacon) and a good deal of fat to make it softer. 

Once grinded several times and with smaller and smaller moulds, it’s mixed with salt, pepper, garlic and vin cotto and put into the gentle sausage skin and then smoked. Ham, which is made only by craftsmen in the whole region, is the noble part of pork. Therefore, in sharecropping times, it was given to the master, the land owner. In order to obtain a tasty product, pigs must follow a special diet, the ham must be matured to the right stage and salted manually. The amount of time and the right climate are essential for a tasty product. The ideal conditions fro ham are those of Mount Carpegna on the Apennines between Romagna, Tuscany and Le Marche: where we find Carpegna ham, that can be plain or juniper-flavoured. Nowadays in Carpegna hams are widely produced, even to an industrial extent, and are distributed all over the world. 

A close relative of it, is Prosciutto del Montefeltro. It is a kind of ham sprinkled with an aromatic wine and with a fragrance of garlic, laurel, sugar and rosemary. It is covered with ground pepper. The prosciutto produced in the area of Macerata and Ascoli, is also delicious. 

In the same area Coppa, is produced. It is made of pigskin, meat, bones with flesh and ears of pork, cooked and pressed. In the area of Pesaro, we find two products, which are known all over the world: Lonza and Porchetta. The latter is made using tender and boneless pork meat, aromatised with wild fennel and roasted in the oven.

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