Al pari degli altri salumi, il lardo trova la giusta collocazione sulle tavole in qualità di affettato: il suo sapore dolce fa sì che esso possa essere gustato come antipasto, abbinato a pane nero e miele.
La sua anima eclettica fa sì che esso possa anche essere utilizzato come condimento nella preparazione di piatti a base di polenta e selvaggina. VALLE D’AOSTA LARD D'ARNAD - L'UNICO LARDO DOP
THE ONLY PDO LARD
Lardo is a tasty and aromatic cold cut aged with salt, spices and mountain herbs, making it a unique and exclusive product-
product excellence of the territory of Arnad Valle d' Aosta is the only since 1996 a PDO product at a European. Today it is considered a key element of the local cuisine, but for a long time it was simply considered a condiment:
The pigs used must way at least 160 kg and be at least 9 month old, and can only be reared in Valle d'Aosta, Emilia Romagna, Piemonte, Lombardia and Veneto;
the pigs must be fed with natural products and no integrated animal feed may be used;
lardo is made with the pig’s back, and once the excess fat is removed these cuts are brought to the production facilities for processing. Within 48 hours the pigs’ backs are cut into rectangular pieces and placed inside special wooden containers (made with oak, chestnut or larch wood from the woods in Valle d’Aosta) known as Doils. Here they are arranged in layers and covered with salt, rosemary, garlic, sage, bay leaf and sometimes with whole spices. Finally it is covered with a mixture of water and crystallized salt, necessary to saturate the entire content. This conservation method is very old, dating back to the end of the 18th century (doils were found in the ancient kitchens of Arnad Castle);
aging times for this product go from a minimum of 3 to 12 -15 months. Once aged to perfection the lard is put in vacuum-sealed packaging or in glass containers. The final flavour must be delicate but aromatic thanks to the spices used.
the value of the difference with PDO and PGI
The difference between PDO and PGI products is that , for PDO , everything related to the processing and marketing of the product originates in the area declared ; while for the PGI product , the declared territory gives the product , through some phases or components of its processing , but not all of the factors that contribute to obtaining the product from the territory declared .
The first records of its production are found in documents dated 1570.
Lardo is a tasty and aromatic cold cut aged with salt, spices and mountain herbs, making it a unique and exclusive product.
Today lardo production is the result of a combination of folk lore and contemporary processing techniques, and it has changed the local economy: over time production plants have been established to preserve its form and characteristics.
Just like other cold cuts and cured meats, lardo finds its best expression served in slices: its sweet flavour makes for a great hors d’oeuvre with brown bread and honey.
Its eclectic nature makes it a great condiment for game dishes served with polenta.
Rising on a small plain on the bottom of the valley, Arnad is a town where farming traditions and ancient know-how still rule today. In this small mountain village ancient trades are passed on from generation to generation: ancient knowledge is preserved and valued to provide the heritage of the past with appropriate continuity.
Just 10 km from Pont-Saint-Martin and 4 km from Forte di Bard, Arnad is among the first towns of the Valle d'Aosta you reach arriving from Piemonte, and is a place with a wealth of history and culture.
Among its most significant buildings is the parish church built in the year 1000 AD, known as The church of Saint Martino.
Echallod Bridge is a classic example of 18th century architecture, built in stone and mortar along three arches with smaller side arches spanning 5-6 meters and a larger middle arch measuring approximately 12 meters.
Quite important is also Vallaise Castle, the ancient, lavish residence of the Vallaise family that built it in the 17th century. The manor has been through a number of structural and decorative changes over time. Extensions and changes to its end use have resulted in its current appearance.
Finally, not far from the town of Arnad itself, a 14th century building, completely rebuilt in 1687, rises from the surrounding chestnut woods: the Sanctuary of Machaby
The product’s valorization has been entrusted to local institutions and to a Committee – currently known as Associazione Lo Doil – that has been working to reassess the importance of Valle d’Aosta Lard d’Arnad DOP for 40 years, not just locally, but also nationwide. Every year during the last week of August the town opens to tourists and residents to pay homage to the star of Valle d’Aosta’s foods. There are a number of dishes featuring lard as an ingredient that go to show the versatility of this tasty food.
PDO recognition has taken on a fundamental role in developing the identity of the product, so much so that the festival known to all as “Festa del Lardo” has changed name into “Festa del Valle d’Aosta Lard d’Arnad DOP”.
The love for their town and the community they belong to has enabled the inhabitants of Arnad to build over the years a well-structured organization solely founded on the work of volunteers.