Antica Ardenga is a small company, producing a limited quantity of ‘salumi’ in the north-east part of the province of Parma.
Known as ‘Bassa’ (that means lowland), is characterised by the proximity to the river Po; this area has an important tradition for the production of high quality ‘salumi’. One of the reason is the ideal climate, with its cold and humid winters.
“CULATELLO” is the most famous and appreciated local product, undisputed king in the italian ham tradition. But this highlight doesn’t exclude other important products, that have all a significant heritage in the local rural tradition.
Antica Ardenga is one of the 13 producers that created the ‘Consorzio del Culatello di Zibello’, that established the rules for the production; is as well producer of ‘Mariola’ (to be consumed raw or cooked) and ‘Spalla Cruda’ (with and without bone). All the three products are in the list of the traditional products ‘protected’ by Slow-Food, an Italian association which is involved in the safeguard of the traditional local products, defending the diversity of the traditions and avoiding that the industrial production will affect the original way to create this kind of products.
The production is concentrated in the winter time; this is actually the most favourable time, when this rigid climate, with its fog and the typical freezing of the soil in the early morning. This conditions are ideal to work the meats in the traditional way. All this originated during the 19th century, when families (at first few and then more and more) were used to have their own pigs in the rural houses, that were slaughtered in the coldest days of winter.
This was done, and is still done today by the local professionals called ‘Norcini’ that traditionally slaughter the pigs, following their timeless methods.
After this, the products are set in the traditional humid rooms (still today present in every rural house), places where the products are kept. This canteens have a typical microclimate favoured by the winter fog; this is the place where the products becomes unique, with the time passing by.
To fully respect the tradition, our pigs are like the ones of the past: born and raised in the company, powered by the company’s products, brought to 14 months of life and slaughtered around the 260 kg. Of course the whole process is “O.G.M. free.”