The elusive culatello. THE culatello is called Culatello di Zibello and is a DOP salume. Culatello di Zibello DOP is only made in a small geographic area in Emilia-Romagna near the Po river. It's salted and put away to cure for a couple days. Then some of the salt is scraped off, it gets re-salted along with the addition of black pepper. Then, it's rinsed with local red wine and cased in a bladder, then tied in a specific manner creating it's characteristic pear shape. It is aged for a period up to a year. I call Culatello elusive for several reasons. First off, it's not easy to harvest. Second, you basically wreck the entire leg to harvest it. 2 strikes off the bat, have to wreck a prosciutto and be able to harvest it. I have neither a leg I was willing to wreck nor the butchering skills necessary to harvest it. That's what friends are for, they say. Again, thanks to my friend who owns the salumeria and his father who makes about 20 prosciutti annually for the past 30 or so years, I was able to procure a leg I wanted to wreck :) AND, after showing him a couple pictures, he was able to harvest it in roughly 5 minutes. Salumi serendipity! He then tied it for me perfectly as well. Got home and uh-oh......realized culatello needs to be skinned. There is also something of a "tail" left over from the butchering process that needed to be removed. So, I had to cut the twine, then skin it, retie it, then remove that little tail. I then salted it(added some cure #2 as well). The picture you see is after initial salting, it's sitting in it's second salting along with the black pepper. It will be cased in a bladder at the end of the week after it's red wine bath. You ask what happens to the rest of the leg? Well, the bottom half of the leg, which would be akin to the hamstring is harvested to make fiocco/fiochetto, which I do have curing as well. The tail is used to make strolghino, which is a salame, as I was instructed by Jason. I'll try and post the finished and cased product at the end of the week. Mangalitsa 'Nduja and Salame Felino ready to come out any day. Look for them soon.