First of all, in order to follow production guidelines, farms must be in these three regions: Piemonte, Emilia Romagna, Lombardia. So must the slaughterhouses. Producers who wish to rear pigs destined for the production of Salame di Varzi must firstly request certification to the Certifying Institute which assigns them an identification code. Producers must comply with regulated farming techniques.
Pigs which are used in the production of raw material destined for the production of Salame di Varzi D.O.P. must comply with specific genetic characteristics. These farms rear the so-called “suino pesante” (literally “heavy pig”) which is the final result of breeding and in-depth research. Along with the techniques through which it is reared, the achievement of a heavy pig depends on its diet, which results in optimal daily growth. Pigs destined to be used in Salame di Varzi D.O.P. must be fed according to specific nutritional guidelines, which relate to the weight of the animal itself. When ready for slaughter, the ideal weight of the suine mustn’t be less than 150Kg and in order to achieve this its age can’t be under 10 months.
Raw material to be destined to production of Salame di Varzi D.O.P. must be obtained only from healthy pigs compliant with the required standards in order to be defined “heavy pigs”. The lean fraction obtained may be from all the animal’s flesh, excluding that of its head, hooves and tail. This sets Salame di Varzi apart from any other salame, giving the product its renowned quality and deliciousness. The lean part is therefore made up of: leg, loin, filet, nerve-free blade, lean bacon, minced ham and boneless, fatless and nerve-free picnic ham. The fat fraction is made up entirely of jowl, hock, bacon, rump and back fat. The ratio to be kept while preparing the mix must not be over 45 Kg of hard fat to 100 Kg of lean pork.
A salting mix is added to the butchered pork meat, which must not be frozen or treated in any way or at any time. This mix is made up of sea salt, potassium nitrate, or sodium nitrite, unground, uncut black pepper and garlic brewed in filtered red wine. The use of any other ingredient which is not included in the historical production guidelines is forbidden.