After a first blogpost where I told about the Villani family company history and where I explained all the features of the perfect mortadella bologna PGI (protected by the European Union), this time I would like to introduce you to the cooked ham and salami Villani.
This means getting to know the italian world of the old art of charcuterie and its excellences.
First of all, you need some coordinates. Well, when you reach this little village between Modena and Bologna, when in the main square you see a pig iron-statue, you know, you’ve found Villani. This village is Castelnuovo Rangone and here is where the first and historical processing site of this family company was founded.
Here is where all started in the far 1886. So when we speak of Villani’s products, have in mind, we’re speaking of 130 years of experience.
First of all, the Family
At Castelnuovo Rangone plant are produced cooked ham, salami, bacon, coppa and others specialities of Emilia like cotechino and zampone. These excellent Italian products are made on the basis of old family recipes.
For sure, Villani produces artisanal food supported by new technologies but at the beginning of all, there are -still and always- old recipes of the founders Ernesta and Costante Villani. They were those who started to write their own “company-cookbook” perfected in the time with experiments and based on the knowledge that Giuseppe Villani gathered around Italy, while discover one different flavors, recipes and art of charcuterie in the other italian regions by the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th.
Besides old family recipes, Villani’s products are made with raw materials: the best selected italian meats, only aromatic herbs and spices to season (for instance: laurel, juniper berries, garlic, rosemary, white pepper. But yet white and red wine). The most part of their products are gluten-free, dairy-free and contain no-polyphosphates.
Villani salumi products
Behind each product different recipes and history. Besides, many fases of the process are made by hands still today. This means true artisanal food.
Salami processing starts with the ground of meat, then is flavored and based in natural intestine, bound by hands and then can start the aging for few months to a couple of years. This part is completely artisanal. To control temperature and dampness of aging rooms, is the job of highly skilled Villani’s workers.
On the other hand, in the cooked ham processing what is remarkable is the long cooking to low temperature in big steam oven rooms. It’s not only a question of healthy and natural cooking, but it’s also important to preserve taste and softness of the meat. Sometimes there are two cooking fases, in the steam oven before and then to roast them. Remember this secret to understand if your italian cooked ham is of high quality or not: it’s a roasted meat, each slice has to be like your Sunday roast. A bit crumbly!
Wonderful to see the work in the white room in protected atmosphere, where workers like astronauts wrap by hands each salumi packages, that we will find ready to eat in our food shops.
I hope we have learnt something more about this delicious and authentic regional food heritage. As important as culture and monuments. For this reason, Villani salumi the family has founded the first italian salumi museum-MUSA located close to the historical site of the Villani Salumi. So, I think your next food travel in the most important food districts of Europe, could start from here. Between a visit to the Salumi Museum and another to the nearby Ferrari Museum. You know, the best way to start to explore Italy!
While planning your trip to Italy, you might like to try our burger recipe, the best you ever ate: mortadella bologna burger. 100% made with Villani’s mortadella and 100% original recipe of tortellini&co. Here the RECIPE.
Monica & Anna
Special thanks to Carlo Filippo Villani.
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