Of the many delicacies that Umbria has to offer, the charcuterie is undoubtedly one of them.
In fact, this region that is the green heart of Italy has a long and important tradition to share and let you enjoy. From the classic ‘prosciutto di Norcia’ to the unique coppa and coglioni di mulo (literally ‘donkey balls’), to the main cured meats to enjoy across Umbria, possibly paired with a few slices of torta al testo and a cheeky glass of local wine .
Prosciutto di Norcia
This is cured raw IGP ham, the result of an ancient processing method that dates back to the pork butchers and their shops in the Valnerina. Its unique flavour also depends on the environment it comes from, the uncontaminated mountains of the areas of Norcia, Preci, Cascia, Monteleone di Spoleto and Poggiodomo. Tasty, but not salty, it has a slightly spicy flavour and a soft yet compact consistency: it is also recognised for its typical pear shape.
Capocollo and lombetto
Capocollo is another typical product of Norcia’s tradition and is highly appreciated for its special fragrance and intense flavour: it is cured and treated with fat. This last element is what differentiates it from lombetto which is mainly lean, on the other hand, or at most features a fine edge of fat. Both are typically consumed during the Easter season, and are excellent on Easter cheese bread.
They say that no part of the pig goes to waste, and coppa, also called coppa di testa, is an example of this. In fact this product is made with parts of the animal’s head, such as the ears and snout, which are chopped up and boiled with spices. Coppa usually has a special rectangular shape and is not cured: it is therefore consumed fresh and its flavour and consistency are definitely one-of-a-kind, you must try it.
Umbria produces excellent charcuterie and among the most particular and characteristic is corallina salami, which gets its name from its bright red colour, similar to coral. It is also distinguished by the large pieces of fat that you can see when you slice it.
The flavour of Ventresca is strong and unmistakeable, a type of rolled pancetta that is the result of an elaborate preparation of pork belly. This cut is flavoured and salted generously and covered entirely with salt. It is used to flavour meat dishes but also prepare pasta sauces, especially Umbrian-style amatriciana and carbonara. It is also excellent on bruschetta and pizza: it is an absolute delicacy served warm and slightly melted.
Sella di San Venanzo
Another typically Umbrian gem, from a mountainous area of the region which is not the Valnerina in this case. The slopes of Mount Peglia, in the characteristic village of San Venanzo, are the home of sella, a special lard that maintains a lean portion, of varying thickness. Salted and flavoured, sella is cured for a long time and it usually takes about 8 months to prepare.
Coglioni di mulo
Unlike what the name suggests (literally donkey balls), this cured meat is very appealing and tasty: it takes its name from its particular shape. It is also distinguished by the lard added into it.
Pigna del monte Peglia
The special shape and original name also distinguish another typical Umbrian cured meat: pigna del monte Peglia (literally ‘the Mount Peglia pine cone’) whose name refers to both its shape but also its flavour, which is strong and spicy, recalling the flavours of Peglia’s forests.
Wild boar cured meats
These highly appreciated and fine cured meats have a particularly strong and gamey flavour: not just salami and dried sausages, but also wild boar ham and mortadella are authentic delicacies that are not always easy to find, but certainly something you must try if you get the
To explore Umbria, our Hotel Fonte Cesia, in the historical centre of Todi, the heart of the region, is the perfect base for visiting every corner of the area in a short amount of time.