One of the courses I am taking while abroad is called “Italian Cuisine and The Mediterranean Diet” and this afternoon we had our first field trip to a meat factory not to far from Viterbo.
My professor Sergio met us at the factory and he was our tour guide – along with the owner of the factory (who mostly spoke in Italian and our professor would translate.)
Here are some fun facts I learned throughout the tour:
· The best meat - and the tastiest parts of animals - are the working parts such as the cheeks, neck and legs.
· Molding is part of the salami process.
· A horse bone is used to stick in the meats to smell the meat and make sure it’s ready.
· Salami is a sack of intestine with the meat inside.
· Pepper and garlic are used for seasoning and they also prevent fermentation.
· Salt is used to help dehydrate the meat.
· In Italy there are 350 different kinds of salami.
At the end of the field trip we got to taste:
· Two types of bread - one made with durum wheat and one with white wheat
· Various salami and prosciutto
· Two authentic Italian red wines
I even got to purchase some salami to bring back to my apartment for only 5 euro! One of the best purchases I think I've made thus far in Italy! (Especially since it's triple the price at the stores!)