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Great 28 Pairings: Bresaola

No charcuterie board is complete without an array of cured meats, which makes bresaola a shoo-in. Unlike the familiar salami, bresaola wasn’t imported into the US until 2000, last seen stateside in 1930. Today, it’s become somewhat of a delicacy, sold at higher prices and absent from many grocery store meat counters. But when you can find it, savor it—bresaola is packed with flavor, and it’s much leaner than other cured meats like prosciutto or pancetta because the fat is removed before it’s aged. The result? A smoky, herbaceous situation that elevates any antipasto experience.

Bresaola della Valtellina

The only one of its kind with protected geographical indications, or PGI status, this bresaola hails from Italy’s Lombardy region. It’s made from rear cuts of beef and traditionally seasoned with salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and garlic powder. During a 10-day curing period, it’s frequently rubbed with more spices to maintain optimal flavor. Enjoy with traditional Italian cheeses to amplify taste of place.

Asiago DOP

+ Bresaola della Valtellina

Caseificio Di Lascio Mozzarella di Bufala

+ Bresaola della Valtellina

Bresaola della Val d’Ossola

Although less widely recognized since it originated in Piedmont, Italy, this bresaola has been around longest. The rub for this varietal packs even more of a punch: Rosemary, bay leaves, juniper, white wine, and sugar make for a sweeter, more intense meat. Try a thin slice with a hard, aged cheese and a few leaves of arugula for the perfect bite.

Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO

+ Bresaola della Val d’Ossola

Grana Padano PDO

+ Bresaola della Val d’Ossola

Homemade Bresaola

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to homemade food, and bresaola is no exception to this rule. There are plenty of recipes online if you’re ready to experiment—all you really need is a hunk of topside or silverside beef (or venison or horsemeat) and a rub of your preferred spices. Aim to pair with cheeses that won’t overpower your meaty masterpiece, like delicate ricotta or fresh chèvre.

Laura Chenel Fresh Goat Cheese Original

+ homemade bresaola

BelGioioso Ricotta Salata

+ homemade bresaola

DIY: Just like cheese, a bit of mold is healthy on bresaola, so don’t freak out immediately if you find a bit of the fuzzy stuff. White mold is completely normal on cured meats, but keep an eye out for green or black mold, which can be dangerous. Vinegar can help in treating mold spots periodically.

Monica Petrucci

Monica is Culture's former Social Media Editor. Coming from a formaggio-obsessed Italian family, she was very excited to combine her passions for cheese and writing at Culture. She loves experimenting in the kitchen and pairing wine and cheese in her spare time.

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