SALAMI CACCIATORE, THE CERTIFICATION OF PROTECTED DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN The term Cacciatore and its variants (e.g. cacciatorino) refer to “small seasoned salami that can be carried in a hunter’s pocket as a small meal.” The designation is both clear and mysterious. The ancient Etruscan origin of “salami dei cacciatori” dates back to about twenty centuries ago. The fact that they were introduced to the rest of Italy by their direct descendants, the Romans, explains the presence of these salamis in all parts of Italy. Cacciatori and cacciatorini were salamis hunters carried with them, along with bread, on hunts as a food that was suitable for their activity. A food that provided the right dose of fat for energy and high quality proteins rich in branched-chain amino acids. They are suffi ciently salted to compensate for the loss of salt associated with long intense runs in pursuit of wild game. This type of salami was available in a “concentrated” form but, especially, with a savoury and delicious fl avor to provide the ideal nutrition for hunters. As regards size, it depended on the estimated duration of the hunt. In any case, the small salamis tied in a row with string (filzetta) were the best suited and most appreciated, almost like today’s “single dose packages.” The principal characteristics of the Cacciatore are related to the certification of Protected Designation of Origin. It is produced with Italian raw materials, and in total compliance with the traditional recipe for small salami that hunters carried with them in their saddle bags during a hunt. Hence, the ingredients used are only high quality cuts of pork meat, salt, pepper and traditionally a pinch of garlic, and never strong spices. At the end of a 10-day seasoning period, the salami must possess a well defi ned aspect, taste and chemical-physical characteristics, namely, small size (usually about 200 g); slightly curved shape; fi rm, non-elastic consistency. The slice is fi rm and homogeneous when it is cut. The colour is a uniform ruby red with well distributed grains of fat, and the subtle savoury fl avour that is never acidic.