Sopressa Veneta 18/6/14

Valpolicella is a such familiar name even if, like me, you’ve never drunk much of the wine.  The production area spans a considerable chunk of western Veneto, stretching north into the bucolic hills above Verona for approximately 10 miles and east to west for twice that.

The finest terroir is to be found in the north around the villages of Fumane, Marano and Negrar and this is where we were at the end of May – not for the wine but because Negrar is also the home of Macelleria Caprini run by brothers Luciano and Eugenio Caprini and people come from miles around for their delicious sopressa veneta salami

The Veneto is well known for its sopresse especially those from Vicenzo (sopressa vicentina), Treviso (sopressa trevigiana) and Verona (sopressa Veronese). Each will have a slightly different way of working due to different climactic conditions and traditions but all have the same crescent shape and beautiful mottled grey mould.

Eugenio uses pigs that are reared locally and slaughtered at 18 months. He slaughters the pigs himself: up to 5 a week during production time (October – May), and uses all the best cuts to make his sopressa. Meat from the loin, ham, shoulder and coppa, is mixed with salt, pepper, garlic and Amarone wine (grown by Luciano) then put into natural casings. Each salame is bound up by hand using a needle and cord.

For the first 4-5 days the salami are kept in a room heated to between 20-25C to slowly dry.  For the rest of their 6 months maturation they are hung in rooms at 70-90% humidity and a temperature of 16-20C. When they are ready 90% of production is sold from their shop but some are sent to local restaurants and, as of this week, a lucky few get sent to Bermondsey.