Production of this salami began in the hilly areas of Lombardy during the period of the Longobard invasions. In fact, the barbarian populations consumed this long-lasting food, made mainly of pork, during their migrations. These salamis, which are small in size, rather dry and compact with a ruby red colour and pieces of fat evenly distributed throughout, are called ‘cacciatori’ or ‘cacciatorini’. The name comes from the old habit of hunters to carry small salamis with them in their knapsacks.
The raw material used to produce Salamini Italiani alla Cacciatora is mainly lean meat from pork muscle tissue, together with hard pork fat, salt, whole or ground pepper and garlic. Other ingredients may include wine, sugar (dextrose, fructose, lactose), milk (skim or powdered) or milk solids, as well as with fermentation cultures, sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate, ascorbic acid and their sodium salts. The mixture is packed in natural or artificial casings with diameters not exceeding 75 mm, tied with string and with a length of no more than 350 mm. They are sold by measure or weight, vacuum packed or packaged in modified atmosphere. They can be kept well in cool, dry environments or in the refrigerator for long periods. Their size makes them a modern food as it is possible to have a fresh product that is easy to consume. They are often served as a starter with other salamis or cheeses and generally go well with red wines.