Mortadella di Prato PGI
It is a typical Tuscan salami belonging to the category of cooked sausages consisting of a mixture of pork, garlic, sea salt and alchermes.
Mortadella di Prato production
The processing process of mortadella di prato PGI involves a first phase consisting of the selection of the permitted pork meats such as shoulder, ham trimming, lard, capocollo, bacon, pancetta. The cuts selected in this way are processed manually with the aid of a knife, cut into cubes and left to rest in cold storage for 24 hours. The lean parts of the meat are minced in a meat grinder and then mixed with the cubes of lard, sea salt, garlic, pepper, spices and finally mixed with the alchermes. The mixture obtained is stuffed and tied in natural casings or synthetic casings. The stewing phase follows, where the product is hung in special rooms with a progressively decreasing temperature for 1-3 days. Once the stewing has been completed, the cooking phase begins, in a steam oven until the core of the product reaches a temperature of 70 ° C, or in the boiler. Immediately after, the product is rinsed, cooled in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours and dried 20 minutes before packaging. Where to buy mortadella di Prato?Here..
Mortadella di Prato Look and taste
Mortadella di Prato PGI has a cylindrical or elliptical shape. When cut it has a firm and compact consistency, soft on the palate. The color is brighter pink due to the dye presence of the alchermes, with white spots due to the cubes of fat. The scent is penetrating and spicy, while the flavor is balanced between the contrast of the warm and pungent note of spices, garlic and sea salt with the sweet and delicate note of alchermes.
Mortadella di Prato production areaThe production area of Mortadella di Prato PGI includes the entire territory of the municipality of Prato and the municipalities of Agliana, Quarrata and Montale in the province of Pistoia, in the Tuscany region.
History of Mortadella di Prato
The first certain documents on Mortadella di Prato as an original product of the Tuscan city date back to 1733, on the occasion of the beatification of Sister Caterina de 'Ricci, when the nuns of the Dominican monasteries of Prato prepared a lunch for their guests where it is a local specialty. Mortadella di Prato PGI arises from the need to make the best use of discarded meats in the preparation of salami, stuffing them after flavoring them with spices and liqueurs and cooking them in water. The product, of medieval origin, is characterized by the original presence of alchermes, a purple liqueur once obtained from cochineal, the famous "dyer's grain", used as a coloring and flavoring agent and abundant spiciness, useful for preserving the product.
Mortadella di Prato gastronomyLike most cooked cured meats, Mortadella di Prato PGI should never be heated, but enjoyed at room temperature. Mortadella di Prato PGI is perfect paired with figs, preferably of the Dottato variety (from Carmignano), and Pane Toscano DOP, prepared without salt. Since the 1700s, Mortadella di Prato PGI has been tasted locally in traditional cuisine as an ingredient in many typical recipes, including "celery alla pratese".
The product is marketed in the Mortadella di Prato PGI type. It is marketed whole, in slices or in slices.
Mortadella di Prato Distinctive note
The presence of alchermes as an ingredient in Mortadella di Prato PGI is a sure marker of origin. Alchermes is in fact a bright red liqueur once obtained exclusively from cochineal, a dried and pulverized parasitic insect, which for centuries has been used in the dyeing of fabrics, which has always been the main economic activity of the city.
In Tuscany mortadella arises from the need to make the best use of discarded meats in the preparation of salami and second-rate pork cuts. Thus, at the beginning of the twentieth century, in Prato and in some areas of the province of Pistoia these meats began to be stuffed, seasoned with spices and liqueurs and cooked in water. After the war this production disappeared, until about thirty years ago, a delicatessen in Prato resumed production. Obviously it is no longer necessary to load the mortadella with spices and powerful aromas: the meat is chosen with care and the modern consumer does not like too invasive aromas.
Mortadella can have various shapes, closer to salami or classic mortadella (depending on the manufacturer), and the weight is almost always one kilogram (although there are variants ranging from 300, 400 grams up to two and a half kilograms).
A strange family is that of cooked cured meats. If you enjoy them straight out of the pot or oven they are excellent, but if you reheat them when they are cold they lose much of their taste. So do not be tempted by the idea of heating cotechini, mortadella, salami, cooked hams, liver: either you are lucky enough to arrive at the store at the right time, when they are still hot, or eat them cold. Never out of the fridge, of course, but at room temperature.
Mortadella di Prato is perfect if tasted with figs, preferably of the Dottato variety (from Carmignano), and with the Prato “draft”, a local bread.