typically South Tyrol.
Speck Alto Adige – the Unique Smoked Ham of Italy’s Southern Alps
The Italian gourmet cured and smoked ham Speck Alto Adige originated in the mountains and valleys on the south side of the Alps. Lightly smoked and cured in the open air, Speck Alto Adige owes its special character to the singular geographical location of Italy’s northernmost province of Alto Adige or South Tyrol, which borders Austria and Switzerland.
Following traditional methods handed down through generations, the producers of this unique Italian ham combine the Northern European method of preserving raw ham by smoking it, with the Mediterranean practice of outdoor curing. The pristine region’s ample sunshine and salubrious mountain air, combined with secret blends of spices and salt, impart a flavor found in no other ham in Italy, let alone the world. Producers of every Speck Alto Adige follow the ancient rule of “a little salt, a little smoke and a lot of fresh air.”
What is Speck? When and how did it originate? Accounting records of Tyrolean princes and butchers’ regulations show the origin of Speck dates back to the year 1200. Initially intended for family consumption throughout the year from the pigs butchered at Yuletide, Speck became a main course for feasts and banquets. Today, served with bread and wine, Speck Alto Adige is the star of Alpine appetizer and snack platters and a flavorful addition to many dishes, including new creations by leading Italian chefs.