Our Salumi Story
Founded in January 2016, our story at Fattoria Valle Magica is still in its infancy. The knowledge, ethos and traditions that inspire our vision are deeply rooted in the local antiquity of the Abruzzo region. Discontented with the commercialism and the depressing reality of modern day lifestyle, we were inspired to completely and radically change our family’s way of life. The inspiration came from an unexpected, chance encounter.
It was upon meeting Riccardo, an 87-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, that we decided to break the cycle. Despite the rough days coping with Alzheimer’s, Riccardo’s lively disposition shined through his vivid storytelling. His animated stories, recounting his memorable Abruzzese childhood on a farm, in the mountainous territory near L’Aquila, ignited the passion in us. Consequently, we ventured out, in search of a lifestyle reminiscent of the same flavours, charm, and wholesomeness that he so magically described.
One story that we found particularly enchanting was how Ricardo’s family reared Nero D’Abruzzo, a now rare breed of local black pigs. Their pigs were reared outdoors, in bountiful oak woodland where they could feast on foraged acorns that contributed to the flavours of the meat. It was amazing to experience the energy and excitement, Riccardo relived, as he described his memories of the long-awaited winter arrival of the Norcini, the artisanal experts who travelled from Umbria to Abruzzo to butcher and work the meat of the pigs. Together with the Norcini, Riccardo learned the value of knowledge and expertise in creating salumi for the family’s use throughout the coming year.
Having learned from Riccardo how to rear traditional, rustic pigs in open woodland to create excellent meat, we yearned to learn and work with Norcini as Riccardo’s family once did. Disappointed to discover they no longer travel across Italy, we were heartened to trace the descendants of these skilled families with generations of inherited knowledge. Now, we collaborate with these descendants working hand in hand to recreate the products and flavours that we imagine once hung in Riccardo’s family cantina.