Culatello, a fine variety of prosciutto, is a delicious specialty of Podere Cadassa in Colorno (Parma), and of course a favorite at its restaurant, Al Vèdel (named after the local name for Le Vedole, the hamlet where the estate rises). According to Parma-born Guido Conti, who once stopped in this wonderful corner of the Po Valley, also known as the Italian “Food Valley”, “The story began with the Bergonzi family as far back as 1780, when aunt Cleofe transformed the farmhouse into a beacon of fine dining. The gastronomic future of this whole area seems to depend on two principles: safeguarding tradition, and promoting the innovation of something that is already excellent” (translated from “Il grande fiume Po”, Mondadori, Milan 2012).
The two principles seem to have found a mouth-watering balance in artisanal culatello, which poet Gabriele D’Annunzio described as having a “salty and red, swine compactness” and Giovanni Guareschi defined as “the essence of Parma’s gastronomy”.
Today, the hands of expert salumists continue to produce masterpieces that fill the halls of Podere Cadassa with happy clients. There is salami, bacon, cotechino… and above all, culatello, “a variety of salami that resembles prosciutto”, Guareschi explained, “but is round like coppa, and my father says that eating it with a fork would be like playing the violin holding the bow with a pair of pliers.”
His majesty the culatello is pure music for our taste buds.