What is Culatello?
Culatello is a cured pork salumi that has been prepared for centuries in northern Italy. The tenderest part of the pork thigh is deboned, salted, and tied tightly in twine. It is then wrapped in a pork bladder and aged for at least a year at room temperature in caves. When ready to eat, it is softened in dry white wine for a few days and then sliced very thin. Culatello has a firm but velvety texture and a complex sweet and salty taste. It is best served simply with bread and figs or melon.
What does Culatello Taste Like?
...Salty is one of the five main tastes. It has a satisfying and addictive quality with hints of sourness. Salty foods include cheeses, cured meats, chips, and olives. It is used in almost every dish and prepared food. Salt is added to enhance flavor and offer a distinctly salty taste.
...Umami is one of five main tastes. It is savory with a depth of flavor. Umami is a taste in many foods, including meat, seafood, beans, and nuts. It is both naturally occurring and created through the specific use of ingredients to create a satisfying taste. Umami is characteristic of proteins and savory dishes.
...Spicy is a flavor that brings heat and fire to food by creating a burning sensation in the mouth or sinuses. Spicy flavors come from hot peppers, horseradish, and wasabi. Spicy adds a kick and sometimes complexity to a dish and releases endorphins, creating a mildly addictive quality.
...Pork is a term for any meat that comes from a pig. The main cuts are the shoulder, loin, leg and side belly. Raw pork is pink and often has a white trim of fat, or dots of fat. The texture is moist and and semi-firm. Pork is used to make bacon, sausage, salami and other various meat products. Pork can be bought and used ground, or in specific cuts, such as for pork tenderloin, a delicate cut of meat, with a lower fat content. Pork is known for being a fatty meat and has a full flavor that is enhanced by salt and spices. Pork should always be cooked thoroughly before consuming.
...Salt is a mineral composed mostly of sodium chloride. It is the main flavoring used in food and is naturally occurring in certain foods, such as cheese, beets, meat and celery, plus many others. Salt is white and has finer granules than sugar. Many commercial salts include iodide, while others exclude it. Most salts are white, while some are naturally pale pink with minerals. Salt brings out the flavor of something and can create a tangy mouthfeel, if used in excess.
...The peppercorn plant grows in tropical climate and produces tiny black fruit. The fruit is dried and become hard. At this point it is ground into a textured powder comprised of black and grey dots. It has a flavor that is spicy, pungent and sharp. Pepper is an extremely popular spice, especially in Western cuisines and lends a gentle heat to dishes. There are different varieties of black pepper and the flavor changes subtly because of this.
...Garlic is used in cuisines around the world and is extremely popular for its depth of flavor. The garlic bulb forms underneath the soil and is harvested once it reaches maturity. The bulb typically has thin, dry, white and flaky skin, surrounding the individual cloves. Often there are 10-12 cloves to a bulb/head of garlic. The cloves are cream colored with a strong smell and flavor that is spicy and sharp. Garlic takes on a nutty flavor in addition, when cooked. It is used in countless dishes, sauces, breads and more.