The fifteen cured meat producers that form the Protection Consortium for cured meats safeguard and pass on the traditional techniques used in the production of these products. The fact that the products are partially or wholly hand-made is a defining feature of their production, which has to follow the very strict regulations set out by the European Union and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests. These are the main characteristics of our excellent traditional products which have been considered to be among the best of Italian cured meats for centuries.
The trio of Coppa Piacentina, Pancetta Piacentina and Salame Piacentino make Piacenza the only province in the whole of Europe to have three products with PDO status, the highest food classification in the European Union. The main task of the Protection Consortium for PDO Cured Meat from Piacenza is to ensure that the rigorous production regulations, as set out by EU policy documents, are followed. Another important part of the Consortium’s activities is ensuring that customers are not misled by producers using the names “PDO Coppa Piacentina”, “PDO Pancetta Piacentina” and “PDO Salame Piacentino” without the proper authorization. Another part of the Consortium’s activities involves promoting, endorsing and keeping alive the traditions of these excellent products through events with customers, trade fairs, publicity campaigns and organizing workshops on nutrition.
History: the province of Piacenza is a place where high quality cured meats have always been produced. There are many reasons for this: first is the geography of the province, which on one side is bordered by the river Po, and on the other by the Appennine mountains. These imposing features create a micro-climate which greatly influences the maturing process. Over the centuries, skilled artisans have taken advantage of these natural conditions to produce the masterpieces: Coppa Piacentina, Pancetta Piacentina and Salame Piacentino. There is ample historical proof that cured pork has been made in the province of Piacenza for a very long time.
This can be ascribed to two main elements: pig breeding and rock salt deposits. Cardinal Giulio Alberoni, when he became the prime minister of King Philip V of Spain, recounts in his letters how he gave cured meats from Piacenza as gifts to members of various European courts. “Roba de Piasenza” (things from Piacenza) was the term used by traders in Lombardy in the 17th century to refer to the unique, excellent cured meats from Piacenza. Cured meats have always been an important part of life in the province of Piacenza. Proof of this can be found in the Museum of Rural Culture in the “G. Ranieri from Piacenza” Agricultural College, where the accumulated knowledge of an industrious farming community can be seen in every object on display.