The old Norcineria art
The famous ham and the other delicious products of the Umbrian norcineria, an unmissable occasion if you are in Umbria.
Umbria is known all over the world for a product result of an authentic art: the norcineria, with everything the pig can offer.
The norcineria, meaning the pig meat processing, doesn't have certain origins: some people claim it was born thanks to a group of Hebrews arrived in Valnerina, who couldn't eat the pig meat for religious reasons and had to preserve it to trade it. From there onwards, it would be born a real and authentic study subject capable of transforming the pig in many culinary artworks.
Sure, instead, is the fact that butchers, especially those from Norcia, were famous at the Roman epoch. For centuries, they left Valnerina for going cutting and salting the pigs in the farms of all the central Italy. Think that they were so good, to be called as surgeons in the most important European courts. It's also worth mentioning the wealth of aromatic herbs occurring in the territory and the pure air: the ideal ingredients to prepare an health 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, that in 1998 gained the IGP certification (Protected Geographic Origin), the salami of truffle-filled boar and the mule's testicles. Very particular is the ciauscolo, a spreadable salami obtained as result of grinding shoulder, loin, ham, bacon and spices.
Not so far from Norcia rises up Preci, a very beautiful village, in the heart of the green Valnerina: here you can taste the capocollo, the bacon, the air-cured pork meat and the mule's testicles, some salamis with at their center a piece of fat to melt on hot bruschetta.
In Spoleto, the biggest city of the area, walking through the inspiring streets of the historical center, you have to stop and taste the porchetta which, together with the one from Costano (fraction of Bastia Umbria), is the most renowned. 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, typical dish of the Umbria Easter tradition.