Umbria is known all over the world for the product of an authentic art: norcineria, transforming everything the pig can offer.
The art of Norcineria, the processing of pork, has uncertain origins: some people claim it was developed thanks to Jews in the Valnerina, who avoided pork for religious reasons and preserved it for trade purposes. Regardless of how the expertise developed, this is an authentic art capable of transforming the pig into many culinary masterpieces.
It is established fact that butchers, especially those from Norcia, were famous in the Roman period. For centuries, they left the Valnerina to practice their trade on farms throughout central Italy. Their skills were such that they were referred to as surgeons in the most important European courts.
Other factors contributing to the reputation of Umbrian pork products were the wealth of aromatic herbs occurring in the territory and the pure air: the ideal ingredients for a healthy and prestigious product.
In Norcia's restaurants you can both buy and taste some delicacies such as the fiaschette del prete (finely ground salamis), the renowned Norcia ham which in 1998 gained the IGP certification (Protected Geographic Origin), the truffle-filled boar salami and the so-called mule's testicles. Ciauscolo, a spreadable salami made by grinding shoulder, loin, ham, bacon and spices, is a particular treat.
Not so far from Norcia is Preci, a very beautiful village, in the heart of the green Valnerina: here you can taste capocollo, bacon, air-cured pork and mule's testicles, which are salamis with a chunk of fat to in the middle, to melt on hot bruschetta.
In Spoleto, the biggest town in the area, walking through the inspiring streets of the historical center, you must stop and taste the roast porchetta which, like that from Costano (in the Bastia Umbria area), are renowned specialties. Another very good typical salami of the area is the corallina: with its typical extended shape reminding the coral branches, it is a salami made of lean pork meats, finely ground with some added lard cubes, a typical part of the Umbria Easter tradition.