Bresaola from the Ossola Valley has long been a traditional product of the area, with a flavour and aroma which make it a delicacy of the highest quality.
BRISAULA, the Association of Bresaola Producers of the Verbano Cusio Ossola, was launched in September 2011 under the Interreg Project “Lake Maggiore, its Valleys, its Flavours”, of which the Chamber of Commerce is the leading partner for Italy.
The main aim of the association is to ensure complete adherence to the product guidelines, guaranteeing the producers’ commitment at every stage of the production process, from the selection of the raw materials to curing, drying and maturing. The resulting high-quality product has a well-balanced, slightly spicy flavour, with a very low fat content.
Another aim is of course to encourage consumption of this traditional product, by local residents and visitors alike.
To date, nine of the biggest, quality producers in the province have joined the Val d’Ossola Bresaola Association. Other producers motivated by the same commitment, skill and passion are welcome to apply to become members.
The Bresaola of The Ossola Valley
The Bresaola of the Ossola Valley is mainly produced in the homonymous valley, but the area of production includes the entire territory of the Verbania Cusio Ossola province. It is a salted and seasoned product. It is a product obtained from hindquarter cuts of beef, in particular of the thigh muscles. The meats used are primarily derived from animals born and bred in Europe. The muscles are trimmed to remove the tendons and the external fat. The salting process is carried out in a "dry" way, i.e. not using salt in brine, and syringing is not allowed. In addition to sodium chloride, natural aromas can be added, spices or herbs, sodium nitrate and/or potassium wine, ascorbic acid and/or its sodium salt.
The spices used are the "secret" of each company. In all processes, however, we find pepper, to which can be added: garlic, nutmeg, mace, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary, cinnamon, chilli pepper or other, according to the business’ own recipe. Red wine can also be used, and even liquor in some cases.
The anatomical parts can be salted from two to twenty-one days at a maximum temperature of 4°C. The wide range is due to the difference in penetration of the salt within the anatomical part due to the size and not standardized, and by the different technological process, whether manual or automated.
The minimum drying time allowed is two days and the maximum time is fifteen days. The temperature can vary according to the technique acquired by the transformer’s tradition: it is usually between 7° and 24° C. The seasoning time depends on the company technology and the external climatic conditions. The average temperature ranges from 10° to 15°C for a time ranging from thirty to sixty days.
Consistency: firm and elastic
Appearance of cut: compact without cracks - colour of lean, even red – the fat is white
Scent: delicate and spicy
Taste: pleasant, not salty, possibly spicy, never acid