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Vasto Ventricina charcuterie


Vasto Ventricina charcuterie (“Vescica”, “Ventricina di Guilmi”, “Muletta”,in the Scerni area, “Ventricina vastese”) is made in the Province of Chieti, in the hills and foothills of the area between the Rivers Trigno and Osento, known as the Medio and Alto Vastese.

It is a large, coarse-grained raw salami, traditionally round or egg-shaped, and usually weighing 1-2.5kg, although it can weigh as much as 4kg, which will depend on the size of the charcuterie and type of gut used. The exterior is dry and may have some widespread, natural flocking or be veined with the chopped pepper used.
It is made by processing selected fresh meat from native breeds of pig or heavy pigs with an even spread of fat in the meat. Guidelines proposed by the Consortium for protection of the product and the “Accademia della Ventricina”, registered together with the collective community trademark by Chieti Chamber of Commerce, the pork used to produce this cured meat must come from pigs reared in the production area or brought from the neighbouring area before reaching 50 days of age. Their feed is closely regulated and requires balanced quantities of corn, tick-beans, barley, wheat, oats and other cereals, not genetically modified. 

“Ventricina del Vastese” is obtained from the finest cuts of pork (ham, shoulder, loin, belly), with a ratio of 70:30 of lean meat to fat, cut only by the knife tip to avoid fat disintegrating, to which a mixture of mortar-pounded dried sweet and chilli peppers, wild fennel and sometimes pepper, is added. The only preservative allowed is salt and, in fact, when the mixture is ready, it is salted with 28-32g of non-iodised product per kilo of meat; lastly spices are added. The mixture is cased in the bladder or the so-called “muletta” – the blind intestine. 
Then it is tied with a “double bridle” using medium or large gauge string, or with fine kitchen net, and the “ventricina” is hung in a cool place to age for at least 90 days. Only after 50 days can it be smeared with lard to prevent weight loss and keep it soft.
When cut, it has an uneven texture (the pieces of meat used to make the stuffing can be identified) and a bright orangey red colour that also touches on the chunks of fat; it has a mildly spicy flavour and a distinctive fragrance
resulting from the seasoning and ripening process. 


L.T. 19-01-08-2021

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