Culatello di Zibello – M.S. 2013

We arrived today, a wintry day, cold and humid, it chills you through to your bones. But without the cold humid air there would be no culatello. Located in between Cremona and Ferrara, the Po river winds its way through an area of fertile agricultural land called the Bassa Parmense. It is famous for 3 things: Verdi who was born in Busseto, fog and Culatello di Zibello.

Our Culatello di Zibello is made in Polesine by maestro Massimo Spigaroli. His beautiful estate sits on the banks of the river Po, more precisely on the dikes that protect it from the waters of the Po when the river is flooding.

Tonight we returned to find ourselves all alone in the castle, so we made a quick tour of the 15th century cellar built specifically for curing meats, it lets in the river fog and enable the air to circulate inside. The fogs that blanket the area throughout autumn and winter prevent them drying out too much and even in summer when temperatures in the cellar reach 25°C the air is still humid.

This cultaello is from Massimo’s cured reserves, it is as good as it gets, a memorable tasting experience that lingers on and on. The sweetness, balanced by a tang of Po, exquisite it is, forever and ever.