Bresaola is a raw cured meat. It can be produced starting from various meats, for example bovine or horse meat. The quality depends on the raw materials which are used and by the procedures followed for its preparation. The finest, best-known and most consumed Bresaola is that of Valtellina produced in the province of Sondrio which is guaranteed by the PGI community mark. It is characterised by its typical brilliant red colour, a very low fat content and its taste, made unique by the climate and the specific nature of the area in which it is prepared.
It indicates a mark of origin which is attributed by the EU to agriculture and food products for which a specific quality or characteristic depends on the geographic origin and the production of which occurs in a specific geographic area. To obtain PGI certification at least one phase of the production process must occur in a specific area. Furthermore, those who produce PGI products must keep to strict production rules established in the production protocol, and compliance with these rules is guaranteed by a specific inspection body.
To obtain excellent quality bresaola it is essential to select the best raw materials which have to be worked by expert hands. The specialist operator, after choosing the meats, must trim them with extreme skill and precision to remove the fat and the external tendinous parts without cutting through the flesh.
Churning is a key phase and gives an even flavour to the meat which is used to produce the bresaola. It distributes salt, pepper and aromatic herbs gently and evenly inside the muscle fibres. Specific machines are used which rotate and massage the meat for a set period of time. This makes the bresaola tender and tasty.
The meat is seasoned at an average temperature between 12 and 18°C and, including the drying time, the process lasts from 3 to 8 weeks. The seasoning chambers, like the drying chambers, must be equipped with specifically air-conditioned systems which are able to ensure optimal exchange of air and suitable temperature and humidity conditions. The attentive assessment of the operator who must regulate the reference parameters is also essential in this phase.