polesine parmense, emilia romagna, italia
In other regions, pork shoulder is ground up to make salami and cotechino sausages, but around Parma, it is used whole, with or without the bone, to make a very distinguished cured meat.
Preparing and aging Spalla Cruda (“raw shoulder”) requires expert charcuterie skills.
After removing the skin and trimming the meat, the shoulder is rubbed energetically with coarse sea salt and pepper. The shoulder is then put upside-down into a basin, set on supports so that it does not come into contact with the liquid it gives off. The salting and draining process is repeated for six to eight days, and the meat is then packed into a pig’s bladder.
Very few producers still produce Spalla Cruda. The absence of artificial preservatives makes the aging very tricky, especially for the bone-in version.
The Presidium wants to promote both types, but with a particular focus on the bone-in Spalla. The Presidium producers have committed to maintaining the tradition and following a strict production protocol.
Polesine, Busseto, Zibello, Soragna, Roccabianca, San Secondo Parmense, Sissa and Colorno Municipalities, Parma Province
Only produced during the colder months, from November to February, the deboned version ages for at least 10 months and the bone-in version for at least 14 months.