Pigs have been reared in Valle Staffora since Roman times, the valley’s hilly terrain with dense chestnut, beech and oak woods providing excellent and plentiful nutrition for grazing animals. It was in Roman times that the valley became a place of transit and trade along what was known as the Lombard Salt Road, an ancient route linking the Po Valley to the coast in Liguria. This supply of salt and spices played a key role in the development of cured meat production.
The production of the first cured meats dates from the 2nd-4th centuries AD, with the Barbarian invasions and the arrival in Valle Staffora of the Longobards, accustomed to conserving coarsely chopped pork, inserted into pig gut, for long periods on their migrations.
THE MIDDLE AGES
In the early Middle Ages, those same monasteries and abbeys that contributed to the cultural and economic resurgence of the Po Valley perfected the art of cured-meat production with methods very similar to those in use today. Indeed, we know that, as early as the 12th century, Varzi salame was a valued addition to the table of the Malaspina Marquises, the feudatories of Valle Staffora.
A PERFECT MICROCLIMATE
The local microclimate was certainly a key factor in the development of a quality cured-meat production in the Varzi area. Looking towards Liguria, Valle Staffora is crossed by temperate and humid marine air currents that contribute to a balanced development of mould, essential for perfect ageing.
RECOGNIZED AND PROTECTED
Our salame has been D.O.C. (Controlled Designation of Origin) approved since 1989 and had international D.O.P. (Protected Designation of Origin) certification since 1996.
The quality of Varzi D.O.P. Vecchio Varzi Salame is guaranteed by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies via controls conducted by the Istituto Parma Qualità, the same body that certifies the quality of Prosciutto Crudo di Parma and Culatello di Zibello.