No it’s not a Stradivari. It’s the Valchiavenna goat violino (violin, as translated), a typical and unique cold cut.

The History

This is a product that has remote origins.

In old times Valchiavenna was rich in travelers from the Po Valley and the Alpine regions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Manufacture and salting of meats allowed easy transportation during long travels.

The techniques have been passed on by families that, is some cases, still today prepare their cold cuts artisanally, preserving them to be offered to guests and friends during special occasions.

The raw material

The violinio is goat derived cold cut, more precisely from the leg and shoulder quarters.

Naturally the best result is obtained working the meat of “special” goats. The animals must come exclusively from local farms where they are bred in a semi-wild manner. Also feeding has a very important role and must not contain artificial feed.

Nutrition must come from the mountain pastures and must be integrated with bran and flour.

Traditionally this cold cut was aged in the crotti, typical structures you can find in Valtellina and Valchiavenna, carved in the rock they keep temperature and humidity at a constant level, used not only for fining cold cuts and cheeses but also places when people could gather to enjoy the food and dine.

Because of this ageing process the violino, like bresola, develops a white layer on the outside. This is not a flaw. This layer allows for better keeping of the meat and can be easily removed with a cloth.

The name

A cold cut ss original as its name “violino”. This name also has old origins in the local tradition, which demands the meat be cut using grabbing the end of the hind quarter and placing the muscle portion on one’s shoulder to the proceed slicing the cut manually with a knife as if it was a violin bow. Exactly like playing a violin.

Considered good tradition passing the cut slices among the dining companions.

Thanks to its uniqueness the goat violin is now safeguarded by Slow Food which guarantees the quality of the product.

Photo credit: Jon Stammers via Source / CC BY

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