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The true origin of Milan salami

Born more than a century ago, it allowed Milanese traditions to be taken overseas.

Salami from Milan is certainly one of the most loved excellences of the Italian agro-alimentary industry, even abroad. But how many know his true story?

Its origin dates back to more than a century ago, when in 1870 the young Giuseppe Citterio opened his delicatessen in Rho, near Milan, and invented this extraordinary recipe to get those flavours far, even overseas, for Italians who emigrated to America looking for fortune.

The goodness of the product, the intuition to make continuous a production that up to that moment followed seasonal cycles, in concomitance with a particular historical period, have created a winning mix for the diffusion of Milan salami also in America, where Citterio is still present today with a production plant entirely dedicated to the production of cold cuts, in Freeland, Pennsylvania.

The production of Milan salami was appreciated throughout the world, so much so that its participation in the National Exhibition of Milan in 1881 won the recognition of a prestigious gold medal. The great tradition and the goodness of the work done so far have been confirmed over the years by the excellent results, not least the fact that they were chosen to represent the Italian delicatessen at Expo Milano 2015, inside the Italian Pavilion.

“The company explains: “The name of Milan salami comes from the outskirts of Milan, the name is linked to its origin, and this is a vision that still guides the company and its industrial development. Citterio has always worked and produced its main cured meats in their respective territories of origin, in compliance with and in defence of the principles regulated by the PDO and PGI brands, strengthening the link between the territory and its traditional recipes. This is why Citterio now has 7 plants in different regions: in Santo Stefano Ticino (MI), Poggio S. Ilario – Felino (PR), Vignola (MO), San Daniele del Friuli (UD), Gordona (SO) and Soprabolzano – Renon (BZ), Pandino (CR)”.

Today, Salame di Milano is produced in Santo Stefano Ticino, near Milan, still following the ancient recipe handed down from generation to generation. Tied by hand and slowly matured by natural fermentation, the product is ruby red in colour, with a fat grain well defined by the size of a grain of rice, a characteristic perfume, a full and delicate flavour and a compact texture.


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