The Villani Salami Ventricina is gluten-free, and made with artisan and traditional methods. Commonly found in the Abruzzo region of Italy, it used to be stuffed in pork belly in ancient times, hence the name, with “ventre” meaning “belly.”
It comes in beautiful bright red slices, and a very well-defined aroma. Seasoned with paprika, crushed chili pepper, and fennel seeds, it’s strong and hot to taste, flavors typical of central-southern Italy.
Villani Salami Ventricina is delivered to you already sliced. This cold cut is a perfect addition to your charcuterie. Pair it with a glass of Zinfandel, or a good Pinot Noir, like this one from Maboroshi.
It’s also absolutely incredible on a bruschetta. The heat of the toasted bread melts the fat, and it’s a simply divine gustatory experience.
Founded in 1886 in Castelnuovo Rangone, near Modena, Villani was properly established when Ernesta and Costante Villani bought a building in the town center. They were already marketing dry-cured ham, and with this venture, they expanded to producing salami, coppa, bacon, mortadella, and cooked ham.
In the 1930s, the company was already well into exporting. And Giuseppe, their son (one of eleven) had gotten an idea when he returned from the States. Drying hangers would revolutionize dry-cured pork production processes.
The idea was quickly adopted by more and more charcuterie producers, and these mobile hangers are still used today as basis for the modern drying process. But Giuseppe’s passion did not stop there. He went all over Italy, searching for new regional recipes and methods, gathering experience along the way. Eventually, Villani expanded their production to more regional specialties, sold both worldwide and in the areas where the recipes originated, which served as great recognition and appreciation for the quality of their meats.
Villani now was five processing sites, catered to making different meats according to DOP and IGP labels. The meats are still made with traditional means—manual skills fundamental to the quality, but they have also adapted to modern systems and research. The family’s coexisting spirits of tradition and modernity allowed the company to bloom into what it is now.
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.