In Varzi, in the southern part of Oltrepò Pavese, I looked for its famous salami. As I tasted this salami together with a schita, I wanted to find out more about this delicacy. At Salumi Magrotti I meet Piero, owner of the business. “The Salame di Varzi is a sausage that not only uses the ‘waste parts’, but also the noble parts such as the thigh. The meat is chopped, mixed with pepper balls, salt and red wine,” he explains.
- The salami needs 8 weeks of ripening in different places. Therefore, at Piero Magrotti’s, the salamis are hung on a trolley with wheels and they are wheeled around every week to different rooms with different humidity and temperatures. As they mature, the sausages are put in colder rooms from 16 to 10 degrees. “It is very important that the salamis can breathe,” Piero says. “During drying, the moisture from the salamis migrates to the outside. The trick is to drop the temperature slowly, thus slowing down the ripening process,” Piero explains. Of course the musty gets brushed away in the process.
Piero also gives a tip that it is not good to keep a salami in your fridge. The ideal temperature is 10 to 12 degrees.
When I ask how the salami tastes best, Piero replies: “The farmer who used to work in the fields, would take a whole salami, a piece of cheese and bread with him in the morning. He ate it in the field under a tree, freshly cut. This is the best salami you can eat!”
Address: Salumi Magrotti, Montesegale, Fraz. Fornace, 8 www.salumificiomagrotti.it