Ventricina has been named after the ancient farmers' practice to put into the pig belly big pieces of pork. Rather than a cold cut, it represented a sort of precious meat reserve. According to the legend, Ventricina of Crognaleto, sewn in the pig belly and sometimes filled in with sausages, was very appreciated by the King of Naples in the 19th century. Moreover, according to the tradition, at the moment of the pig killing in Abruzzi it was necessary to have at disposal a chair and a fine glass of wine. As a matter of fact, during the butchering, the head of the family almost fainted: for this reason, he needed a chair and a sip of Montepulciano to recover. This tale witnesses the affection he felt for the pig, since the animal lived at direct contact with the family and ate the leftovers. The rite of butchering represented a moment of celebration and, at the same time, a sad moment of necessary cruelty.
Current Production Area in the Park: The production area is situated between the mountain, foothill, and hilly strips of the area of Laga Mountains and Gran Sasso.
A traditional product of Regione Abruzzo, it is prepared from a thinly minced mixture of meat and pork fat with salt, garlic, white and black ground pepper, sweet and spicy pepper, pepper paste, fennel seeds, rosemary, and orange peel, or other spices based on the characteristic essences of Abruzzi. It is usually packed and hung in bags like bladder or pork stomach, but it is also sold in glass jars. According to the packaging, the weight goes from 100g to 1 kilo. It is traditionally dried in premises heated by a fireplace, usually the kitchen, for about one week. It has a light pink color, varying according to the spices used. It can be eaten as it is or spread on the bread. It has a spicy taste deriving from the aromas used. In the Park area, Ventricina teramana is known, although it is produced also in other Park areas with different features.
Product Availability: It is mainly produced in autumn and is ready in early winter. It is for sale all year round.