The Molinari family - Gaetano, Roberta and their son Alan - have a butchers shop in Tolmezzo and their production kitchen and tiny abattoir in Zuglio, 20kms from the Austrian/ Friuli border. They slaughter 10 pigs a week and, unusually, work them all ‘a caldo’ – caldo means hot so the pigs are slaughtered, butchered and all salumi made in just one day.
This, they insist, is the secret to the quality of their salumi; the moment a pig is slaughtered enzymes get to work turning large, flavourless molecules into smaller, flavourful 'fragments'. Chilling inhibits this process so they slaughter and work every animal within a single day. The figure of 10 pigs is important as that is the maximum number that the family can work in this way
At the end of this first day the salumi are smoked according to the tradition of the area: this is characterised by the use of local pino mugo, an aromatic, high-altitude mountain pine which they harvest from the Carnic Alps