renazzo di cento, emilia romagna, italia
Mortadella is the undisputed ruler of cured pork tradition in Bologna. This is despite its long history, going back centuries—in fact, Slow Food established a Presidium some years ago to protect classic Mortadella, in order to restore its deserved reputation.
But the area around Bologna is also home to some other truly excellent cooked cured meats, which are very rare these days, like Salame rosa and Lyon. Both of these cured meats are seasoned with garlic and pepper and cooked in traditional hot-air ovens, with the air temperature gradually rising to 85°C, bringing the centre of the meats to 75°C.
Until the first half of the 20th century, these cured meats were commonly found in the delis and food shops in and around Bologna. Salame rosa, in particular, was as popular as mortadella. Now demand has reduced dramatically, as has the supply from local artisans, due to both the laborious production techniques and the progressive industrialization and standardization of cooked cured meat production, with poor-quality mortadella leading the way.
The Presidium cured meats use only pork from heavy Italian pigs, raised without the use of GMOs in their feed. The use of preservatives has been reduced to the minimum, with only tiny amounts of nitrites allowed (2 grams of sodium nitrite per 100 kilos of meat).
The aim is to revive the production of these two cured meats, as has happened with classic Mortadella, encouraging the few producers who still preserve the traditional recipe to resurrect it and to increase production.
Bologna province and Cento-pievese municipalities
Bonfatti, Cento (Fe), Frazione Renazzo, Via Alberelli 28, tel. +39 051 6850011 / +39 335 6254612, firstname.lastname@example.org