La Strada del Culatello di Zibello is one of the Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori di Parma and is a food and wine itinerary in a zone north west of Parma.
Your towns of reference are Busseto, Fontanellato, S.Secondo Parmense, Colorno, Sissa, Roccabianca and Polisine P.sa in an anticlockwise direction.
So what's a Culatello di Zibello DOP?
It is the most prized of all the salami made with the 'coscia' or rump of the Italian pig.
From the website of the Conortium we learn that in 1332, during a celebrated wedding feast, culatello was offered to the bride and groom as a gift.
Suitably inspired the Pallavicino family similarly offered Culatello to Galeazzo Maria Sforza, the Duke of Milan. It's reputation was launched.
A cousin of prosciutto, it has always kept a certain elite profile and came out of the Norcia style ham making tradition of Parma.
ESSENTIAL CULATELLO LINKS
Zibello is the town near the River Po where the atmosphere and humidity of the storerooms create a very special maturation of the product over a period of 12 to 18 months.
To prepare the Culatello di Zibello for eating it should first be cleaned with care, then soaked in red or white wine for 2 to 3 days.
Before being sliced the excess fat should be removed from the exterior of the culatello.
It is an excellent antipasti and can accompany such delights as Spalla Cruda, other typical products from Parma such as local white bread or, according to the experts, fresh butter, hazelnuts and truffles from Norcia.
Try it in a sandwich with parmigiano reggiano cheese and mustard.
A recent convention also proposed that culatello is best washed down with a light beer such as a lager or pils and not just the traditional local lambrusco.