What is Salame Felino IGP?

Also known as the "King of salami," Salame Felino boasts a dazzling flavor rich in black peppercorns and wine. But what exactly makes it so unique?

Read on to discover everything you need to know about this typical Italian sausage, from its ancient history to how to cut the perfect slice. Then, stop by your local Eataly to get a taste of Salame Felino by Rovagnati.

What is Salame Felino IGP?

Salame Felino is a particular type of Italian cured pork sausage. Its name comes from the place where it's produced: Felino, a small village located in Italy's central Emilia-Romagna region. The tiny town is surrounded by the green Bazanga valley, which is full of forests where herds of pigs were raised in the ancient past. But there's another reason why Felino is known for its salami: at 607 feet above sea level, the hilltop town has a mild and windy climate, conditions that are ideal for naturally curing meat over time. Thanks to this unique microclimate, artisans are able to use less salt to preserve the meat.

Historical records show that Salame Felino dates back to the first century A.D., making it one of the most ancient cured meats known to man.

How is Salame Felino IGP made? 

Like many other authentic products of Italy, true Salame Felino is guaranteed by its IGP label, which stands for Indicazione Georgrafica Protetta (Protected Geographical Indication). The blue and yellow stamp is a trademark aimed at safeguarding a food product whose quality, reputation, or other featured depend on a specific geographical area. In other words: the IGP label tells consumers that a particular product has been produced, transformed, and processed in a specific region in a specific way. (Refresh your knowledge of Italian certifications here!)

To make authentic Salame Felino IGP, Rovagnati's sausage artisans begin with a careful selection of Italian pork. The meat must come from pigs raised in Italy without any added hormones. High-quality cuts, usually deboned pork shoulder and pork belly, are finely ground and seasoned with Salsomaggiore salt, whole black peppercorns, white wine, and garlic, then hand-stuffed into a natural casing. Finally, the salami are hung to dry and slowly aged in cellars anywhere from 30 to 90 days.

What does Salame Felino IGP taste like? 

Salame Felino is soft to the touch, with a sweet taste and delicate aroma. It has a ruby-red color and is speckled with opaque white bits of fat. Thanks to its seasoning and slow-aging process, each bite boasts a light peppery flavor, with notes of underbrush and white wine.

How should you serve it?

To get the best flavor out of each bite, Rovagnati recommends slicing Salame Felino in a certain way. Begin with a wood cutting board and a long, thin knife. Cut each piece diagonally, about 1/8-inch thick, to create a long, oblique slice. This ensures that each slice contains just the right amount of peppercorn and speckles of creamy fat. To experience the flavors more fully, serve the salame warm at around 140° F.

While Salame Felino is excellent on its own, it also goes well with rustic Tuscan bread, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, Lambrusco wine, and Ale-style beers. Serve it as an appetizer, snack, or picnic treat!

Eataly Piazza

Ready to get a taste? Explore your local Eataly to bring home Salame Felino IGP by Rovagnati, a renowned Italian salumi producer.