We are constantly looking for dishes and pleasures from the ancient rural Samnite traditions. Among the most representative Samnite products, we suggest the Maiale Nero Casertano (black Casertana pig) or Pelatello Teanese, a mid-sized endangered animal; it is signalled as “Tipo Autoctono Antico” TGAA (ancient autochthonous type) and has lately been recovered and reintroduced because of its organoleptic qualities. It has some peculiarities that make it unique: two wattles or cylindrical appendages hanging from the lower part of the throat and an almost completely hairless skin (hence its alternative name Pelatello, “hairless one”) ranging from purple-black to slate grey.
It is an ancient animal, that is bred completely, or almost completely, in the wild; it has a greater amount of fat than common pigs, from which it is possible to obtain a soft, white lard that is one of the main condiments in the traditional rural cuisine. This pig has fats that resemble, in their composition, the ones we find in extra-virgin olive oil: the acids contained in the lard can help in lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) and increasing the levels of HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”).
The Casertana pig is considered one of the best Italian autochthonous pig breed; in fact, it presents a unique distribution of fat with the peculiar “marezzatura” of its meats, i.e. an abundant intramuscular connective tissue making the meat soft and rich.
The meat is employed in the production of typical cold cuts like sausages, capocollo, bacon, soppressata, culatello or ham.