Delicatessen of Abruzzo: discovering Ventricina
Italy is the master of delicatessen and cold cuts and each region has its ace in the hole, from “sopressa” in Veneto to “finocchiona” in Tuscany. However there is a delicatessen from Abruzzo that compete for the tastiest delicatessen in Italy, we are talking about her majesty: Ventricina.
Have you ever heard about it? Ventricina recipe is kept proudly in the culinary tradition of Abruzzo and Molise and outside the borders of these two small regions it is rare to find this savoury delicatessen.
Ventricina: origins and characteristics
Historical delicatessen from Abruzzo, Ventricina is a speciality of the Vastese area, from the peasant tradition of the hills that goes from Schiavi d’Abruzzo to Scerni and it is prepared with the pork fat parts (almost the 30%), ham leftovers, lard and bacon mixed with thinner parts (about the 70%), stuffed into pork stomach or bowels. Its consistency isn’t hard and thick but it looks like the famous ‘nduja. It is like a dough with hard pieces of fat and meat and it is usually cut in pieces with a knife. According to the seasoning it can be drier, softer and spreadable.
The numerous spices are used to season the meat, in particular the dough of grinded pepper both in the sweet and spicy version, to which it is added chilli pepper, white pepper, salt, fennel seeds, garlic and sometimes orange zest.
This delicatessen with a rough body isn’t stuffed in the traditional stretched shape of the salami but the shape of an ovoid ball in pork bowel and sold after a long seasoning. A strict code of conduct manages the high quality standards of Ventricina DOP. Only the Ventricina that have had a long seasoning, not below 100 days can boast the DOP recognition. They have to be without additive and preservatives and stuffed in pieces that weight from 1 to 2,5 kg.
Ventricina in cuisine
How to taste this savoury delicatessen? The strong and intense taste, slightly spicy and spiced make it the main ingredient, but it is perfect paired with home made bread, cheeses, better if they come from Abruzzo like the savoury Caciocavallo or Cacioricotta, or used as stuffing for rich and savoury dishes.