Bresaola from the Valtellina valley in northern Italy is a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) product made from whole pieces of select lean Italian beef. It has the lowest fat content among cured meats (2.6g), as well as the highest level of protein (36g) for every 100g. The traditional production area for Bresaola della Valtellina is the territory of the province of Sondrio in the region of Lombardy. It is prepared using beef thighs, including prized loin cuts.
After it is sprinkled with salt, ground pepper and natural herbs and spices, bresaola is left to dry in stainless steel canisters. They are periodically hand-massaged to favour the absorption of the seasoning, and to ensure gradual and uniform drying. After it is cleaned and put into skins they are transferred to special cells in which both temperature and humidity are strictly controlled, and where aging takes place for a period of 2-4 months.
It is possible to conserve bresaola for long periods of time, while keeping its softness, full flavour and delicateness. It is served in thin slices, with a trickle of extra virgin olive oil with shaved scaglie of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and salad rocket leaves. It is also commonly used for sandwiches and piadine in Italy, like a new take on roast beef.