Speck Alto Adige PGI is a boned, specially cut, dry-seasoned, lightly smoked raw ham which is air dried or aged for at least twenty-two weeks. Speck Alto Adige PGI is obtained from deboned, trimmed pig thighs – with or without the topside and, therefore, salted.
Production Area: Speck Alto Adige IGP is produced in the entire territory of the province of Bolzano, also called Südtirol, in the Region of Trentino-Alto Adige. This is a place where Alpine and Mediterranean cultures meld in a unique way and nature provides such an extraordinary climate, boasting lots of sunny days and pure air.
Appearance and Taste: The exterior is brown in color and the slice is red with pinkish-white areas. It has an elastic consistency; the lean parts are non-sticky and the fat parts non-greasy. It has a particular taste, intense and flavorsome, not salty, with smoky, grassy and spicy hints, as well as touches of aromatic herbs.
Origins: First references involving Speck in documents are dated back to the XVIII century, but Speck appears in book keeping records and butchery regulations as early as 1200. Originally, Speck was produced by farmers in the Region of Alto Adige to preserve pig meat all the year round. The recipe of Speck Alto Adige PGI is very ancient and it is the most famous traditional product of the Region.
Production: Hams are rubbed primarily by hand with salt and a special mixture of spices and left to mature in cool rooms for three weeks. After the seasoning process, the hams are alternately subjected to the light smoke from low-resin wood and the fresh air of the South Tyrolean valleys for five days. The maturation is 22 weeks on average, based on weight, and, during this process, the speck loses around a third of its original weight and takes on its typically firm structure.
Gastronomy: There are many ways to slice speck: with or without the crust, by hand or by machine, elegantly and in paper-thin slices, cut in strips, or diced. Each one of these methods leads to a different taste experience. It should be stored in a dark, cool place (around 5° C/ 41° F) or in the fridge. Suggested Wine Pairings: Schiava and Lagrein from Alto Adige.