Deli meats and grape harvest, from the vineyard to the table
The grape harvest is a crucial moment of the farming year. Although today’s processes have modernised, most wineries prefer to keep the harvest by hand and it is an occasion that often involves not only seasonal workers but also the whole family, a feast to celebrate the end of an intense cycle of work.
This veritable ritual is celebrated with different traditions in different parts of Italy, but native cured meats are often an integral part of it. From the ‘farmer’s breakfast’, based on bread and salami to start the harvest with energy, to the snack in the vineyard, up to the big barbecues of sausages, ribs and chops that close the long days of work, the peasant history of pig breeding is closely intertwined with that of vine cultivation.
A connoisseur’s tip is to take advantage of the season to enjoy the sausages with must bread. Just as you don’t throw anything away from pork, the ‘waste’ from grape processing also becomes a precious ingredient for intense flavours that take you back to the past. Must (the unfermented product of crushing or pressing grapes) in particular is used in many regions to flavour bread, an ancient tradition. Mustacei, i.e. sandwiches made with must, are already found in Cato’s De Agri Cultura, and were quite widespread in the last centuries of the Roman Republican period. Bread with must and cured meats exalt each other in a pleasant contrast.