Bresaola della Valtellina

Bresaola from Valtellina

The Bresaola from Valtellina is a cured meat made from beef, salted and matured, and eaten raw. Since 1996 the real Bresaola from Valtellina is guaranteed by the Community trade mark of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
It is somewhat difficult to determine precisely where it gets its name from this meat. It might result from the expression “room come brisa”, to use that once made of salt in conservation and the fact that in Valchiavenna (Valtellina valley close to) “brisa” indicated a gland of cattle heavily salted. But there are those who trace the origin of the name to the term “brasa” (in dialect means grilled) because once the product was dried in rooms heated by charcoal braziers fed with fir and juniper berries, thyme and bay leaves. From “brisaola” the name is then changed over the years into “bresaola”.
The earliest literary evidence relating to the production of bresaola date from the fifteenth century, but the origin of the sausage is definitely prior. The production remains limited to the family until the first decades of the nineteenth century. In the nineteenth century the handicraft of cured meat becomes particularly florid and the product crosses national borders to be exported to neighboring Switzerland. The agribusiness sector is traditionally very strong in Valtellina, whose culinary specialties are sold throughout Italy and in Switzerland.
In addition to Bresaola from Valtellina, who had the PGI, they are recognized as traditional food products also smoked and dried beef bresaola horse.