An interview with Federico Capovilla, right, of Salumificio Verza
By Margaux Cintrano
THE ORIGINS OF SALUMIFICIO VERZA date back to the early 1900s, when legendary grandfather Antonio Toniolo, known as “Verza”, used to butcher cattle and pigs bred in the valley. This ancestor would preserve the meat in caves, filled with snow and ice that he himself would collect in his cart from the Fiorentini Highlands. The family traditions, the butchery trade, which had begun in Velo d’ Astico, Italy in 1968, contines today with the same passion, tradition, and quality of cured meat products.
Margaux: Tell us, what or who were the catalysts that inspired you to enter into the world of Salami and Charcuterie.
Federico: The Toniolo family has a long tradition in butcher’s trade started in the early 1900s from grandfather Antonio. In 1968 the young grandson Antonio Toniolo founded Salumificio Verza, adopting his family’s nickname for the company. So there are two Antonios in our family history that have inspired us to enter and continue this Charcuterie tradition.
Margaux: Could you please tell the readers about the latest products that you have for the coming Christmas Season ?
Federico: On 21st September we have had the official presentation of our new product “IlCengio”, a cured meat product dedicated to our territory, with a high level of craftsmanship. This hand-made product is composed from seven different anatomical meat cuts: shoulder,
bacon, leg, jowl, lard, loin and neck.
Margaux: If money were not an issue, what is your eno–gastronomic dream trip and why ?
Federico: Probably I’m telling you a banality but my eno-gastronomic dream trip would be a trip through Italy, from north to south, to discover all the speciality, the micro production, the typical products of each region and rarities scattered over the territory. If money were not an issue I hope that time was not an issue too.
Margaux: We met in January 2019 at the Extraordinary Food Wine Trade Fair, in Venice. I was very impressed with your “AURUM” and the specialised lamp in which you use to provide a little heat to this luxurious delicacy. Can you give us some more details about this delicacy
and the lamps?
Federico: “ Emotion I” with black truffle and 23k. edible gold is the first product of our Aurum line. This cured meat product is something special, it’s completely hand-made, patent protected and customizable. About customizations, we have already planned some variants, for example, without truffle or with white truffle but in Aurum line anything can happen.
Here we don’t talk only about taste, our goal is to bring the person to feel unique. The customer is a central part of the development of “Emotion One” which can be made even more exclusive through all the ingredients that customer wants; in this way we can really make a product unique in the world.
The box of the product, which is an integral part of EMOZIONE I, has been designed to enhance the characteristics of the product and to involve the consumer emotionally. On opening the box, the product is wrapped by the led light coming from the backlit plexiglass board on which EMOZIONE I lays and which acts as a cutting board. The light makes all the gold particles on the surface of the product stand out and shine.
With EMOZIONE I, the aim is to create an experience that goes beyond just the taste, but that also involves the senses such as touch and sight in order to reach the heart and mind too.
Margaux: What are your professional goals for 2020 ?
Federico: Our professional goal for 2020 is to introduce “Emotion I” and the Aurum line into Japanese market.
Margaux: I see you also have a retail gourmet boutique. What products do you sell at the shop?
Federico: In our shop we sell our fresh and cured meat products but also we select the best fresh meat of beef, veal and chicken; our butchers make many meat preparations ready to use in brine, moisturized with olive oil and herbs or vacuum-packed with our spice mix but on request. They also prepare roasts or other meat preparations at the moment, following the customer’s needs.
Margaux: Which wines do you suggest that would pair the best with your products?
Federico: For the new product “Il Cengio” we suggest a fruity white still wine as Vespaiolo, Lugana or Monferrato; For Emotion I with black truffle we suggest a red wine like Amarone, Brunello di Montalcino, Sagrantino di Montefalco, Bordeaux and Saint Emilion.
Margaux: Last but not least, can you provide us with a background history of the company?
Federico: The origins of Salumificio Verza date back to the early 1900s, when legendary grandfather Antonio, known as “Verza”, used to butcher cattle and pigs bred in the valley. This ancestor would preserve the meat in a cave filled with the snow and ice that he himself would collect on his cart from up on the Fiorentini highlands. Then using this same means of transport, he would travel around the nearby villages selling his products to his customers.
Today Verza Salumi is a business reality, resulting from a well-known brand, and in all these years it has known how to maintain the same passion, tradition and quality of its cured meat products thanks to a careful selection of the meat, the use of natural casings, herbs, natural spices and, above all, a slow maturing technique.
These are the values and the philosophy that have been handed down to us and that we, in our turn, wish to hand down to future generations.
Photos supplied except
Japanese market/James Abbott, CC BY-SA2.0