Americans Are Buying More Specialty Foods
U.S. consumers are buying more specialty
foods, and Italian products are high on their list. One
of those specialty Italian products that is finding its
way onto more plates in restaurants and homes is Speck Alto
Adige, a lightly smoked raw ham, produced in Italy's northern
Alpine region and renowned for its mild, smoky, balanced,
distinctive flavor and traditional heritage.
According to a recent survey
by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade,
Inc., and Mintel International, Americans of all ages nationwide
are buying, eating, and discussing specialty food - premium-quality,
The survey results, reported in Today's
Specialty Food Consumer 2012, showed that 79 percent
of specialty food consumers experiment with new recipes,
and 79 percent say family food traditions are important
to them. Italian and Mexican products were the top international
food purchases. Shoppers cited taste as the number one reason
for purchasing specialty foods, followed by recommendations
from a friend or relative. Diet and health concerns also
are influencing more purchases this year than last.
Speck for a Healthier Diet
to Alta Cucina, a New York-based epicurean society devoted
to premium Italian cuisine and wines, "Speck
Alto Adige serves as a healthier alternative to some
other meats. Its high protein content and low cholesterol
give it nutritional value and make it a healthy source of
protein and a substitute for fish, meat and eggs."
As Italian-American Celebrity Rossella
Rago explains on her Cooking
with Nonna Web site, "Thanks in part to the strict fat/lean
ratio of the selected pigs," Speck Alto Adige "serves as
a healthy addition to any meal." It's also "a great source
of amino acids."
Produced from lean, firm pork thighs, Speck Alto Adige derives
its unique flavor from "a little salt, a little smoke and
a lot of fresh air." Learn more about this high-quality
product from the northern Italian Alps at http://www.speck.it/en/speck-alto-adige/production.html.
Speck Alto Adige Is a Ham with a Long Pedigree
In the region known as Alto Adige or
South Tyrol, where Italy, Austria, and Switzerland meet,
Mediterranean and northern European cultures, traditions,
and cuisine unite. This beautiful region of Italy, with
its verdant fields, family farms, picturesque villages,
and stunning views of the Dolomite mountains, is home to
one of the world's finest smoked, cured hams - Speck Alto
Adige. The origins of Speck dates back to the year 1200.
Thanks to the expertise and determination of a number of
families and firms based in the region, American consumers
today can enjoy this versatile, delicious meat product whose
production follows time-honored traditions. Following are
examples of two companies whose products American consumers
can find in stories or online.
family began making pork products in 1620, passing on traditional
production techniques from generation to generation. After
World War II, the family settled in Val Venosta, a valley
in Alto Adige. After years of selling their product primarily
in Italy, in 1985, Gino and Franz
Recla launched an export business in Silandro,
a picturesque market town in the heart of the valley. In
2004, Recla became the first company in Italy granted permission
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell Speck Alto
Adige to the United States. The Reclas attribute their success
in selling to the United States and other market to their
high-quality standards, continuous investments that improve
operations, reliable delivery, and trust worthy partnerships
with importers and distributors, all based on the family's
deep respect for their products, which are produced with
passion and care.
1857 the Senfer
butcher began producing and selling Speck in local markets
in the Italian town of San
Candido in Val Pusteria, a valley that runs from Austria
into Italy. When Franz Senfer took over as president in
1967, he began converting the company from a local craft
operation into a thriving industry. For 25 years, until
early 2012, Franz Senfter served as president of the Consorzio
Tutela Speck Alto Adige, the consortium of Speck Alto
In 1983, Senfer obtained an export license, and the company
has continued to modernize and expand ever since. In the
ensuing years, Senfter has established many joint ventures
with Italian meat companies in order to market its products
in Italy and worldwide, including a 2000 joint venture with
Unibon, a cooperative in Reggio Emilia, which became known
as Grandi Salumifici Italiani. Today, its Speck Alto Adige
and other products can be found in many countries, including
the United States, China, Japan, and almost every country
in Europe. The company ranks second in the Italian processed
meats sector and first in exports.
|A "Specktacular" Fall
Here's a Specktacular" recipe for fall
featuring Speck Alto Adige, pumpkin, and whole wheat pasta,
from Chef John Granata of Camille's, a landmark Italian restaurant
on historic Federal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island.
Pumpkin Parmigiano Wheat Fettuccine
- 1 lb. whole wheat fettuccine
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lb. Speck Alto Adige
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (preferably homemade)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 to 4 fresh sage leaves
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmigiano
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
- ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
Watch Chef Granata demonstrate how to prepare this delicious
seasonal dish on Channel 12's "The Road Show" and hear
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
- Add a heaping tablespoon of salt to the water
and drop the pasta in. Cook al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large
sauté pan on medium heat. Add the speck ham and
- Cook until garlic becomes golden brown. Add sage
and let cook in oil for 2 minutes before adding
cream and pumpkin together.
- Stir together and add salt and pepper. Drain
pasta and add to pan. Toss together with Reggiano
Parmigiano and grated nutmeg.
- Garnish dishes with toasted hazelnuts.
explain how Speck Alto Adige differs from its better-known
Look for more serving suggestions, demonstrations on how to
slice Speck Alto Adige, and additional information at
http://www.speck.it/en/speck-alto-adige.html and by following
us on Twitter.
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