History of Salumi

Not to be confused with salami, sulumi is a product family that includes salami. Salami is a term used to describe a product made from ground pork and spices which is then encased and cured. Salumi is also made from pork but is cured in salt and not encased before aging. Salumi encompasses a large family of cured products that go beyond Italy's famous Prosciutto.

Historically curing methods such as salting were used to preserve the hogs for the upcoming winter and summer months as there was no refrigeration to do so. These methods date back to Roman times when improvement of raw material and processing methods first took place. In the coming years pigs became one of the most important resources for villages. Items such as preserved hams, shoulders and pancetta even became monetary currency. In the middle ages forests were measured according to their ability to nourish pigs rather than their actual size. During the Renaissance, pork appeared on the mot sumptuous tables and it was then that the first workshops and charcuterie stores opened.

Between the 12th and 17th century a strong development of jobs linked to the processing of pork appeared and thus the figure of the Norcino (pork butcher from Norcia) came to be. They organized themselves into guilds and fraternities taking on important roles in society. Bologna was the home to the Corporazione dei Salaroli (fraternity of salters) and Florence became home to the Confraternita dei Facchini di San Giovanni (confraternity of Saint John's Servants) that was part of an organization of pork butchers who dedicated themselves to the art charcuterie. Their activity was seasonal the Norcini would leave their homes in the beginning of October and return towards the end of March. The fame of the Norcino remained unchanged until the aftermath of the second world war.

Today, the art of curing meats is still alive. Not to be confused with the generic products you can find in any grocery store. We at Dolce Lucano still preserve the old world techniques used centuries ago. We humbly carry forward the values and honesty of our mentors. Nothing comes from nothing, we believe in starting with a quality product, using artisan methods to achieve the best possible product we can make.