Musetto, a wintertime delicacy
We're talking about musetto, or muset in dialect, which literally means “little snout”: that's because its main ingredient is pork's snout meat, minced and spiced. The meat usually is a mix of pork cheek, tongue, shin, snout, rind and muscles, to which they usually add salt, pepper and spices, traditionally cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and coriander though they also can vary, according to different recipes. Then the minced meat is packed in pig-gut casings and left in the seasoning cellars for at least one week.
This is how they do it, for example, at the long-running Salumificio Lovison in Spilimbergo, which has been processing top quality fresh pork meat since 1903, relying only on selected breeders within 20 kilometres from their family-run factory.
But musetto is not to be eaten as it is, it must be cooked before! And boiling in a pot for at least three hours.
The perfect match: brovada
The typical dish is “musetto with brovada”: warm musetto's slices along with grated, pickled white turnip. Of course, it's not just some simple, pickled turnip... Brovada was acknowledged in 2011 as a DOP – Denominazione di Origine Protetta, thus making it a Protected Designations of Origin product: it can actually be made only in the Provinces of Gorizia, Pordenone and Udine and only in places below 1.200 metres sea level (because it helps reducing parasites). A very strict ruling states exactly everything about the making of brovada, from the kind or turnip (a very special one, the so called violet-necked turnip, a cylindrical variety of the white one) to the sowing time and harvest, and so on.
Its very unique feature is the fermentation with marc, and it must be grape pulp coming exclusively from FVG region's red grape vines, thus reusing in a smart way wine-making waste (some also add some red wine or vinegar to the process). Brovada can be made only from September to March, and can be put on sale after at least a 30-days fermentation process.
Its name probably derives from the Langobardic term “breowan”, which means “to boil”. It's easy to find it canned in supermarkets but of course it needs a revamp before eating. It should be heated in a pan, with olive oil, garlic and laurel leaves before getting along with musetto in your plate. Meanwhile, in your glass there should be, of course, some of our strong red wines: a great Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, or even a Merlot would be a suitable match for this incredible dish.
A diet's foe: salame con panna
About the copious Italian salami varieties, we'd better point out two main categories to which they all belong: “fresh” salami and aged salami. Fresh salami can be also served warm, thus implying it must be cooked somehow. A traditional recipe from the Pordenone area, for example, is “salame con panna”, salami with cream: we know it could be a bit tough for your coronary artery, but it still is a very delicious treat – of course, if you don't exceed, and in wintertime only...
Just simply put some butter in a pan, then add some thick slices and let them brown off on both sides. In the end, put some cream on them and after a few, boiling minutes there you have it. It should be served with some hot polenta... But if you want to know what polenta is and how to cook it, you better wait for our next article: that's a whole new culinary chapter apart!