When a star comes to the Us, she usually takes the honors she deserves. Today, this star’s red carpet is 60 floors above the Hudson River. At 28 Liberty St and in the Bay Room, a big modular open space, over 100 people are waiting before the stage.
Huge windows overlook lower Manhattan, the Liberty Statue and the symbolic Ellis Island, the place where many Italians made their first entrance in the U.S. way back then.
Today’s star enters dressed up in a very distinctive wooden yellow box, featuring a traditional label that recalls right away the italian culinary history.
The moment has come. Here is the star.
“Ladies and gentlemen, The best prosciutto in the world, the one and only… Prosciutto di Carpegna Dop!”
The Beretta Family fills almost entirely the first seated row. Ever since 2016, this Italian group has owned the Prosciutto di Carpegna, and in only two years they doubled the production taking it to 150k pieces per year.
Purveyors of salumi since 1812, and now in their eighth generation, the family attends almost in full, bringing with them their 87 years young matriarch Marta as well as Filippo, the youngest at 21. The fil rouge that runs through this age gap seems to be the instinctual knowledge of belonging to the same history and a common fate that cannot be put into words.
This bicentennial bond has continued to nurture a family business that today has a revenue in the regent of 1 billion US$, of which 10% in the US alone.
All the attendees in the Bay Room are already savoring the first slices of the famous Prosciutto di Carpegna, being served in little yellow pochettes. Amongst them, a veteran of the gastronomical New york scene seems to release the long awaited moment as he enjoys the first bite. Expectations have been high in the food circles, as confirmed by the 30 restaurants in lower Manhattan ready to serve the Carpegna on its first day in the US.
The company’s CEO Alberto Beretta looks satisfied: “Prosciutto di Carpegna – he said – has been enjoyed in Italy for centuries, and I am so proud of our family for being able to introduce such a special tradition to the US for the very first time. This is some of the most exclusive prosciutto being made in the world and it has an incredible history and tradition.”
The Carpegna DOP 20 month (seasoning time, ed.) will be launched on the market as a premium product. “The price range will be medium-high – continues Alberto Beretta – and the product will cost more than other prosciutti DOP, such as Parma and San Daniele, especially because it is produced artisanally and in lower numbers”
The arrival in the US of the ‘prosciutto dressed in yellow’ reaffirms the commitment of Gruppo Beretta to a country where it already has three production facilities: the first one opened more than 20 years ago, in 1997, in South Hackensack. Then followed the one in Fresno, CA, and the newest in 2015, in Mount Olive, NJ.
To this day, the Mount Olive facility is a state-of-the-art production plant of italian salumi in the US with 192.000 square feet and a production capacity of 7,300 tons of all natural prosciutto (without nitrites and nitrates), salami, coppa, bresaola, pancetta, and mortadella.
Recently the Townships of Mount Olive and Carpegna became sister cities, not only because of the gastronomical joint-venture that ties them, but even because of the very similar climatic characteristics.
Even more so, in the Prosciutto di Carpegna’s history, the climatic element played a very important role.
Carpegna is a village located inside a territory that stretches between Emilia Romagna, Marche and Tuscany regions of Central Italy, in the heart of the Montefeltro Mountains. It is there that the history of this prosciutto began, formed by age-old traditions and pork curing techniques that date back to the 1400s.
The area is swept by both the sea winds from the Adriatico and the mountain winds from the Appennini, making it the perfect environment for the product’s seasoning. To cure the prosciutto, the Maestri Salumai use exclusively the famous sweet salt of Cervia, and they have developed a secret coating blend of lard and spices. At the end of the 20-month-curing process, they test each prosciutto with a special needle, to assess if the prosciutto is ready and worthy to be labeled “Carpegna DOP”.
A long journey and a fascinating challenge awaits this highly special product, this italian star, born and raised in a small village over the Marche’s hills and just introduced to the US on a red carpet in the heart of Manhattan…