TORONTO — Renowned Italian chef Cristian Broglia from Parma, Italy was in town last week to lead a Master Class and tasting of Italian Salumi, called “Salumiamo” presented by the Italian Trade Commission. The charismatic chef took members of the food community through a journey of different flavours and products starting with prosciutto and culminating with the famous mortadella.
According to Piero Titone of the Italian Trade Commission, 76.8 per cent of all EU cured meat exported to Canada originates from Italy, equal to 1.4-million kilos with a value of $35 million. This means that Italy exports more cured meats than all the rest of EU as a whole. Titone also noted that Italy’s is the second-largest global supplier of cured meats to Canada, after the U.S.
Broglia touched on the ingredients used to make most of these products, highlighting the trinity of seasonings used to produce them — salt, pepper and spices. “All products are artisanal, made by hand, but the weather does help us,” he said, adding that the micro-climates of each region is so important for all the salumi. “There’s a very specific criteria in making salami,” he said, “there’s no improvisation and we’re restricted to follow certain rules.”
Broglia also highlighted that technology now helps in allowing customers to know exactly which farm their product was produced on, and by which farmer. “If you Google that information (provided on the product) you can tell what the pig has eaten.” He also noted that in recent years, the use of salt has been minimized to make the salumi products healthier.