What is culatello?
Culatello di Zibello is the most prized cured meat from Italy, made famous by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. It is made with the muscular part of the hind leg—the best cut of the pig. Culatello is rare and requires a high level of craftsmanship to produce, which is why it fetches such a high price. This melt-in-your-mouth Italian ham has a distinctly sweet, musky flavor; locals claim it is the region's fog and winter temperatures that gives it its unique taste.
How To Eat Culatello
Since this pear shaped meat is considered a gourmet delicacy, many people prefer to eat it by itself drizzled with olive oil, or with cheese and fruit on an antipasto platter. You may also create a gourmet sandwich with thin slices of culatello between two pieces of crusty bread.
Like its curing techniques, and similar to prosciutto di parma, the slicing method of culatello also follows strict guidelines, which starts with carefully removing the skin along with any fat. The Italian ham must then be cut into paper-thin slices. To maintain its flavor, culatello should be stored in a cool, dry place, but never refrigerated.
Where To Buy Culatello di Zibello PDO
Not only is this leg of pork a rare delicacy, but it's even more rare to come across outside of Italy. It is even called the "pride of Emilia Romagna", the region that is home to the province of Parma and the Po River. Usually aged 12 months or more, this masterpiece is marked PDO, protected designation of origin and part of the Slow Food Presidia group. That is why Supermarket Italy takes great pride in being able to offer the finest cuts of this Italian ham; some directly imported from Italy, and some made in the United States by following the original methods to a T.