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Slow Food Presidium

Slow Food Presidium

Sapori Mediterranei is a producer of a salami called Pezzente della Montagna Materana, producted in Cirigliano (MT) which is a Slow Food Presidium

Label narrating Pezzente from the Matera Mountains

The narrative label is a Slow Food project and tells the story of the product, who produces it and the entire supply chain.

The product

Pezzente della Montagna Materana is a cured meat with an emblematic name that refers to the origins of peasant life, the need to preserve pork for as long as possible and, above all, to use every edible part of the pig. The cured meat owes its name to the cuts used for its production; while the "noble" parts were used by farmers for the production of more valuable sausages, the poor cuts were reserved for the beggar. On the palate it is soft, with a harmonious and well-balanced taste.

The territory

The Salumificio Sapori Mediterranei produces the Pezzente della Montagna Materana in Cirigliano (Matera) which extends over a mountainous height at around 656 meters above sea level in the Matera hinterland, surrounded by immense oak forests.

The animals

Inside the Pollino National Park, in Francavilla in Sinni, Franco Salerno's farm raises an average of 50 Italian heavy pigs in a semi-wild state every year, whose meat is used for the production of pezzente. The pigs have the opportunity to graze on approximately 20 hectares of semi-wooded area and are hospitalized for the night. The diet is based on green fodder, cereals and legumes partly grown by the same farm and partly sourced from local suppliers strictly in the park area. The pigs are not administered hormones or antibiotics and do not undergo any mutilation. They are slaughtered around one year of age and weighing around 140 kg at the Senise (Pz) slaughterhouse, 15 km away from the company. agricultural.

Processing and seasoning

The Salumificio Sapori Mediterranei produces the Pezzente della Montagna Materana from October to April. For its production it uses the less noble cuts which, once cleaned, are cut into medium/coarse grains according to the dictates of tradition, mixed with Cervia sea salt (Slow Food Presidium), ground sweet dried pepper from Senise or chilli pepper, fennel seeds wild mountain garlic and garlic (not dehydrated), in expertly dosed quantities. No nitrites and nitrates or other additives are used. The mixture obtained is then stuffed into natural casings and tied with hemp twine. The beggar is then left to dry in special rooms for about four days. This is followed by maturation in thermo-conditioned rooms for approximately a month.

Il pezzente of the Matera Mountains

In the forests of the Materana Mountains and the middle Basento, in the heart of Basilicata, today largely included in the Natural Park of Gallipoli Cognato and the Small Lucanian Dolomites, pigs in a not too distant past grazed freely in the undergrowth and ate tubers, roots, chestnuts, acorns, mushrooms. Most belonged to a rustic native breed, which has almost disappeared today: the Nero di Lucania.

The availability of quality raw materials has strongly stimulated the very ancient production of cured meats. And among these the most particular is the beggar. Already in 1931 the first edition of the Touring Club Guide, a mine of gastronomic information for that time, today a repertoire of good things that have often definitively disappeared, recommended stopping in the Matera area to taste the beggar. The name of this sausage refers to the origins of peasant life, the need to preserve the meat for as long as possible and, above all, to make the best use of every part of the pig.

While the "noble" parts were used by farmers for the production of soppressata, pancetta and bacon, the poor cuts were reserved for the beggar. Even the parts of the throat, invaded by blood at the time of slaughter, the nerves, the muscles most difficult to shred, the stomach, the trimmings of the noble pieces, the residual fat from previous processing: everything was cut into strips and then minced .

Senise pepper, spicy and sweet, reduced to powder, wild fennel, chopped fresh garlic and sea salt were added to the mixture of meats. The same operations are still carried out today in an absolutely manual way. The most delicate phase is that of the amalgamation between meat and tanning, locally called curling: it is necessary to press the mixture vigorously with closed fists until it becomes perfectly homogeneous.

At this point it is customary to take a part of the dough and fry it in a pan (u sartascnill) to check whether the salt and other ingredients are correctly dosed or whether it is necessary to add more before stuffing.

The most common method of consumption is in slices with good homemade bread: in this case, the maturation must last at least beyond 20 days. But beggar, in the past, was also considered a substitute for meat. It is therefore still used today to prepare the "red sauce" with which homemade pasta is seasoned, or combined with vegetables such as chicory, chard, escarole, and cooked, as a tasty second course, in earthenware pots. For cooking uses, even a shorter seasoning of around 15 days may be sufficient.

The careful selection of meat from pigs raised in the open air, the addition of only natural flavourings, the absence of preservatives and the slow maturing combine to create the right balance that lasts over time; and so patience, care, the purity of the air and the particularity of the mountain microclimate allow us to offer you a unique experience of taste.

The Slow Food Presidia

The Presidium
The Slow Food Presidia are vrrtuos example of a new model of agriculture, based on quality, use of ancient knoledges and production methods, on the respect of the seasons, on the health of animals.
The Presidia safe good products, of high quality and radicated in the territory; clean product, obtained from substainable method; right products, made in respectful work conditions.
The Presidia products reinforce the local economies and allow the creation of a strong alliance between the producers and the consumers.
The presidia products carry the logo "Slow Food Presidium" on the pack, a logo which identify them and garantee that the producer is respecting a production disciplinary oriented to the respect of the tradition and to the environmental sustainability.

The production area
Production area: Municipalities of Accettura, Aliano, Calciano, Cirigliano, Garaguso, Gorgoglione, Oliveto Lucano, Stigliano and Tricarico (in the Province of Matera).

period of production
The Pezzente production is made from november to march. The minimun seasoning period is 2 weeks for a product to be consumed cooked and 3 weeks for a product to be consumed raw.