What is culatello? The professionals here at Antica Corte Pallavicina take their work seriously. It is a fine art to create meat like this and they’ve been using the same technique for generations. First, the softest part of the upper thigh is cut off to be used. It’s massaged with wine and garlic and then with salt and pepper. The thigh is then left to rest for five days before being put into a pig bladder. It is tied up and hung in this cellar. There is a reason all the hanging hams are dusty and mouldy. They’ll stay suspended from the ceiling for at least 12 months… and sometimes for as long as 40 months! Once they are ready, the bundles will be taken down, the bladder will be removed and the meat will be left wrapped in a cool cloth for two days. When the cloth is removed, the meat must be sliced within one hour. To eat true culatello you must be here in the Emilia Romagna region because transporting it will ruin the delicate taste. So much effort and care goes into ensuring the meat is of the highest quality. It starts well before the pig is even slaughtered. At Antica Corte Pallavicina, they grow their own maize, barley and bran to feed to the animals. I would’ve said the pigs eat better than the humans…but that was before I had my chance to taste the culatello.
Did you know? You can only eat culatello in the Emilia Romagna region because transporting it will ruin the delicate taste.