The lush-green Baganza valley, in the Parma province, is home to PGI Salame Felino, which takes its traditional name from the little village of Felino, the historical centre that has been producing this original pork salami since immemorial time.
The first evidence of the production of this salami can be traced back to Latin authors of the 1st century BC. However, it wasn’t until the Medieval times, and most notably from the second half of the 18th century onwards, that the degree of innovation achieved in pork butchery succeeded in transforming this salami into what it is today.
The earliest depiction of this charcuterie appears to be in Benedetto Antelami's decoration in the interiors of Parma Baptistery from the 12th century. A panel portrays two salamis that, due to their shape and size, are thought to be the Salame Felino.
Soft, cylindrical in shape, mild in flavour and intensely fragrant, this salami is made from pure pork meat. The blend of meat - known as "trito di banco" (made up of 75% low-fat meat and 25% fatty cuts) - is grinded and chopped, adding salt, pepper, garlic, wine, sugar and other natural flavours. Lastly, the mixture is stuffed into a natural pig intestine casing and left to age for at least 25 days.
Produced in Felino, where the museo del Salame di Felino is located, and throughout the Parma province, the authenticity of the “Prince of Salami” is guaranteed by the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and by the salami’s homonymous consortium, the "Consorzio di tutela", which applies its own seal of approval.
Thought to be one of the best appetisers in Parma cuisine, this pure pork salami should be served sliced, being careful to limit its exposure to air. The perfect finger food, it can be savoured alone or accompanied by fresh, home-made bread and a dab of butter. To enjoy at best the traditional Emilian cuisine, it can be eaten also with other fragrant salamis from the area, perhaps tasted with a glass of wine from the surrounding hills, such as Lambrusco, Fortana or Malvasia, or the typical PDO Colli di Parma wines