Bresaola dela Vatellina PGI
Star of the valley
An Italian cold cut, air-dried and salted, this cured beef is made from the top round (rear leg) of the cow. It comes from a valley in the Lombardy region of the Northern Italian Alps, called Valtellina.
TASTING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
This beef cold cut has a sweet, musty smell, and is lean and more tender than other types of cured meats.
The meat is completely and thoroughly defatted and seasoned with a dry rub of salt and spices (usually juniper, nutmeg, and cinnamon). After a few days of curing, it’s dried for one to three months.
During aging, it loses about 40% of its weight, and becomes hard and the color turns a dark red, almost purple. Cut very thinly and served chilled or at room temperature, this halal cold cut is salty to the taste, with hints of garlic, pepper, juniper, and other spices.
PAIRINGS AND PREPARATION
Bresaola is incredible enjoyed as is or as antipasti. In fact, it’s highly suggested you eat it with as few additional trimmings as possible. Pair with an aromatic white wine.
Or do as the Italians do! Throw on some arugula, a bit of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper, and you have a simple, but incredibly tasty salad.
A very big part of what makes bresaola such a unique Italian cold cut is the place it comes from. The valley of Valtellina is a narrow area that runs between Italy and Switzerland in the central Alps.
Valtellina is unique in that it runs transversal instead of longitudinal like other mountain valleys. Because of this, it experiences more sunlight, and milder climate than other alpine areas.
The valley is also near Lake Como, making it constantly well-ventilated. This unique combination of dry climate and moderate temperatures make the ideal conditions for the beef cold cut to cure in a proper, gradual manner.
Vacuum-sealed packs of hand-carved cured meats can last up to five months in the refrigerator (never the freezer). Once the pack is opened, they’re best enjoyed within the day.