Bresaola della Valtellina IGP

Valtellina, Lombardy

bresaola – photo Lorenzo Vinci

Beef Bresaola  Product Description

Makers of Bresaola still use age-old meat preparation techniques. This famed specialty from the Lombardy region of Italy, where it is typically eaten raw. Bresaola is salted and air dried meat, made from the tenderloin or fillet. It has a very dark red color, and is simply eaten sliced thinly, with olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper.

Bresaola and charcuterie:

Charcuterie is typical of Contado di Chiavenna, and Bresaola (cured raw beef), or Brisaola in local dialect, is definitely the best known local product. Recognized by the Protected Geographical Indication, it has been renowned in Valchiavenna since 1400.

Its name is said to derive from the word brasa or brace, meaning embers, which were used for drying the meat; hence the name brasa-saola, shortened to Bresaola.

Bresaola is only produced with beef (top-round) between two and four years old. The muscular mass is trimmed and dry cured; drying takes an average of a week and the meat has to dehydrate rapidly during the first days of treatment. It has a delicate and slightly aromatic flavor and a pleasant taste, which is moderately salty and never acidic. The finished product is cylindrical in shape.

One of the most famous products of Valtellina is Slinzega, made from cuts of horsemeat cured with a dry salting method. The salt mixture contains bay, juniper, garlic and pepper and the meat is sometimes bathed in wine. Cut into fine slices, Slinzega is eaten as an appetizer or a simple, unseasoned snack.

There is also Violino, whose name derives from the way it is held for cutting rather than the shape itself: you hold the meat like a violin and the knife like a bow. Ham made from the haunch of a goat or a sheep often also roe-deer and chamois is a specialty of Valle Spluga. It is produced by local artisans and sold in local shops or a few city stores.

The Cotecotto and Prosciutto di Gallivaggio are also worth a mention.

Valtellina’s charcuterie culture is based around crotti, which are natural cavities in the rocks formed by major landslides. A breeze of air called the sorel blows up from the depths of these cavities, which inhabitants use for conserving charcuterie, bresaola and wine.

For more information, contact the Consorzio Tutela del Nome Bresaola della Valtellina

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One Reply to “Bresaola della Valtellina IGP”

  1. Bresaola della Valtellina IGP is available in the USA from

    Be Careful: Dolceterra does NOT have ANY operation based in the USA, they ship directly their products from the hills near Verona, Italy, using FedEx. If this is OK with you, the products they sell are, based on my experience, good Italian products, often from small producers. Sometimes you could find the same products are sold directly from the Italian producer at a very small fraction of the price Dolceterra charges you, but you will have to do your homework, look on the Internet, identify the product manufacturer and order directly from him online.

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