Abruzzo, land of breathtaking landscapes and millennia-old culinary traditions, is renowned for its rich and flavorful cuisine.
Among the gastronomic delights that characterize this region, there’s a culinary treasure that stands out for its unique taste and deep-rooted tradition: Ventricina del Vastese.
In the hilly and foothill lands of the middle and upper Vastese, in the province of Chieti, Ventricina reigns supreme.
This cured meat, aged for a long time and generously sized, is made from the noble parts of the pig, precisely hand-cut to millimetric precision.
The result is a product with an oval shape, coarse but compact meat, giving rise to a soft texture and bold flavor, enriched by the right balance of fat and rigorously red, thanks to the use of red pepper, preferably from Altino, which has received Slow Food presidium recognition for its particular taste and properties.
The process to create this delicacy is complex and meticulous, based on traditional methods passed down from generation to generation.
After cutting the meat and adding the spices (salt and finely ground red pepper), the mixture is left to rest for several hours to allow the flavors to harmoniously blend.
Subsequently, it is stuffed into the typical natural casings, hand-tied.
The next phase is aging, during which the salami is hung in cool, well-ventilated rooms for a period that can vary from a few months to a whole year, depending on the desired taste.
It’s not just a salami but a symbol of the agricultural heritage of Abruzzo and the province of Chieti.
So much so that Ventricina del Vastese has been awarded the prestigious Slow Food Presidium recognition and has won numerous awards, solidifying its fame as the queen of cured meats.
The history of Ventricina dates back in time.
In the past, Ventricina was typically spicy, but over the centuries, the sweet version has become more widespread, more popular, and loved by all.
Today, this gastronomic gem never fails to grace Abruzzo’s tables, accompanying moments of celebration and conviviality.
Ventricina del Vastese lends itself to many uses in the kitchen.
It can be served as an appetizer, thinly sliced and accompanied by local cheeses and rustic bread.
It’s also perfect for seasoning first courses, pizzas, or as the main ingredient for delicious bruschettas.
In any case, it’s advisable to enjoy it at room temperature to allow the flavors to fully express themselves.
If you find yourself exploring Abruzzo, you absolutely cannot miss the opportunity to savor Ventricina del Vastese.
Besides delighting your palate with its unique taste, it will take you on a journey through a centuries-old tradition, made of passion, skill, and love for food.
A journey through the flavors and stories of a land rich in gastronomic treasures, ready to welcome you with open arms.
Ready to travel to Abruzzo, Italy?
Get in touch today for more information about our tour. We are ready to help you choose the best options for your dream vacation!
And if you’re not quite ready to make an inquiry, sign up for our free email course to learn everything you need to know about planning a tour of Abruzzo.