Made from the legs or shoulders of goats, this unusual cured meat is actually shaped like a violin, the mass of muscle tapering down to the hoof like the neck of the musical instrument. It is typical throughout the Valchiavenna, once a crossroads for travellers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Though the custom of salting and aging meat to preserve it dates back here to time immemorial, today very few artisans are still making this goat ham following the ancient technique.
The size is fairly small, ranging from around 2 kilos for the front shoulder to 3 and a half kilos for the back leg. The most flavorful and fragrant violinos are aged slowly and naturally in an airy environment: traditionally the best place for ageing is inside the crotti, caves carved out of the rocky valley walls.
Presidium goat violino is made by following only the traditional techniques, using meat from animals raised in a semi-wild state in the mountains of the province of Sondrio that have been properly fed and slaughtered. Specifically, the goats’ diet must include grass and wild plants from the Alpine pastures, which can be supplemented by cornmeal and bran.
Chiavenna, Campodolcino and Valchiavenna Municipalities, Sondrio Province
Produced year-round; the curing period should be no less than 60 days.
Stefano Ciabarri, Madesimo (So), via De Giacomi 7, tel. +39 320 0754837, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aldo ed Enrico Del Curto, Chiavenna (So), via Dolzino 131, tel. +39 0343 32312 / +39 349 0995664, email@example.com
Pra l’Ottavi di Renata Vanoni, Gordona (So), via Al Piano 24, tel. +39 348 8549223, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.pralottavi.it