Bresaola is air-dried salted beef that has been aged about 2-3 months until it becomes hard and a dark red, almost purple colour. It is made from eye of round and is lean and tender with a sweet, musty smell. It originated in Valtellina, a valley in the Alps of northern Italy's Lombardy region.

The word comes from the diminutive of Italian dialectal "bresada", which is the past participle form of "brasare", meaning to braise, from French "braiser".


A strict trimming process is essential to the rich taste. Legs of beef are thoroughly defatted and seasoned with a dry rub of coarse salt and spices such as juniper berries, cinnamon and nutmeg. They are then left to cure for a few days. A drying period follows, of between one and three months depending on the weight of the particular bresaola. Up to 40% of the meat's original weight is lost during aging.

A similar process is also applied in Valtellina to smaller pieces of meat. This results in a more strongly flavoured product, Slinzega, which is similar to South African biltong. Traditionally horse meat was used for slinzega, but now other types of meat can be used, such as venison and pork.


As an antipasto bresaola is usually sliced paper thin and served at room temperature or slightly chilled. It is most commonly eaten on its own, but may be drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice or aceto balsamico, and served with rocket (rucola, arugula) salad, cracked black pepper and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. The similarity to carpaccio, which is made from "raw" beef, sees that name being used (incorrectly) for bresaola dishes as well.

Sliced bresaola should be stored well-wrapped in a refrigerator.

imilar products

The Bresaola produced in Valtellina is now a Protected geographical indication (PGI) under EU Regulation 2081/92. Since this designation, smoked dried beef made outside Valtellina may carry a generic name such as "viande séchée" or "beef prosciutto". But there are traditional products from several other areas that are similar :

*Bindenfleisch (Bünderfleisch) - from across the border in Grisons, Switzerland
*Brési - from the Jura region of France
*Carne de sol - from NE Brazil
*Cecina - from León, now used elsewhere in Spain and Latin America (Cecina de León also has PGI status)
*Charque dulce - from Brazil
*Chipped beef - from the United States
*Deng-deng - from India
*Pastirma - from Turkey and the Balkans
*Pemmican (Pemmikan) - from North America
*Suho meso - from the Slavic countries
*Suschenaja govjadina - from Southern Russia
*Tasajo - from South America

ee also

* Salumi

External links

* [ Consorzio tutela Bresaola della Valtellina] , PGI Consortium
* [ Sainsbury's Bresaola Della Valtellina] Lists ingredients and water loss.

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  • bresaola — /brə zōˈla/ noun Salt cured, air dried beef, served thinly sliced with oil, lemon juice and black pepper ORIGIN: Ital, from brasare to cook slowly …   Useful english dictionary

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  • bresaola — {{#}}{{LM B43340}}{{〓}} {{[}}bresaola{{]}} {{■}}(it.){{□}} {{《}}▍ s.f.{{》}} Carne bovina finamente rebanada, que se come cruda y condimentada. {{★}}{{\}}PRONUNCIACIÓN:{{/}} [bresaóla]. {{★}}{{\}}ORTOGRAFÍA:{{/}} Por ser un extranjerismo debe… …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • bresaola — bre·sao·la (brĕ sōʹlə, brĭ zōʹ ) n. Sliced salt cured, air dried beef that is dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper before serving.   [Italian, diminutive of Italian dialectal *bresada, past participle of brasare, to braise, from… …   Universalium

  • bresaola — noun /brɛˈsəʊlə,brɪˈzəʊlə,brɛˈsoʊlə,brɪˈzoʊlə/ Air dried salt cured beef fillet that has been aged about 2 3 months until it becomes very hard and a dark red, almost purple colour …   Wiktionary

  • bresaola — bre·sà·o·la s.f. CO carne di manzo salata ed essiccata, tipica della Valtellina {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1931. ETIMO: voce lomb., der. di brasare con ola femm., vd. 2 olo …   Dizionario italiano

  • bresaola — {{hw}}{{bresaola}}{{/hw}}s. f. Carne di manzo, salata ed essiccata, specialità della Valtellina …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • bresaola — pl.f. bresaole …   Dizionario dei sinonimi e contrari

  • bresaola — n. Italian dried beef (served with a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper) …   English contemporary dictionary

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