Zibello was a fantastic surprise in my cultural culinary journey through Italy.
Close to the Po River and in the vicinity of Parma, home to the delicious Parmigiano, lies this small town called Zibello, where they curate the flavors of the Culatello di Zibello DOP (Protected Designation of Origin).
Culatello is the muscular part of the pigs leg. The thigh is skinned and deboned, and the center part is removed and salted immediately. After a few days they apparently massage the meat to further penetrate the salt into the meat and wrap & tie in a clean dry pork bladder. At this point it is left to rest in a humid cellar for about 12 months.
My boyfriend and his family go to Trattoria La Buca di Zibello every year, and he took me to experience this incredible traditional family restaurant this year. Close to the Po river and true to the historical cook, Signora Miriam, this place is an absolute pleasure. THEMOSTMUST all the way.
My favorite dish was the tagliatelle con Culatello. I think I could eat two or three of these plates and still want more…the whole atmosphere of the place, with an outside patio surrounded by plants, the huge kitchen, where they make fresh pasta from scratch every single day, (maintained spotlessly clean by the female cooks) the underground cellar full of hanging culatellos really made for a special time.
We later rented some bicycles at the town tourist shop and went for a ride along the Po River…until we reached the Antica Corte Pallavicina, a beautiful old farm house restored with all its beauty into a luxury hotel and restaurant….there hangs the prized Culatello owned by Price Albert of Monaco!! The views, the smells, the beautiful gardens and peacocks were just what we needed to appreciate the sunset over the Po River while we had a glass of wine and a few samples of the best parmigianos and culatello.
Trattoria La Buca – http://www.trattorialabuca.com/english/trattoria.htm
Antica Corte Pallavicina – http://www.anticacortepallavicinarelais.com/