Mariola is one of the most traditional cured meats from the lowlands around Parma, the area around Piacenza and some areas around Cremona (where it is called Ciota). There are two versions, cooked and raw.
The raw Mariola is a noble cured meat, and very complex to age.
It is made from prized cuts of pork, stuffed into the caecum, which is thick and keeps the meat soft, allowing a long aging period.
Its size, characteristic flavor and ability to keep for a long time have earned it a place of honor during Christmas festivities.
Though both versions are by now quite common, it is very rare to find raw Mariola made using quality meat and processed according to the traditional recipe.
The Presidium only promotes raw, traditional Mariola produced in the area between the Piacenza Apennines and the Parma lowlands.
When a properly aged Mariola is cut, it should ooze a drop of liquid, a classic sign of great nobility for very mature cured meats. On the nose it is musky, complex and slightly spiced, with a pleasant mushroomy note.
From the Piacenza hills to the Parma plains, Province of Piacenza
The production period runs from the beginning of autumn to the end of spring, when low temperatures facilitate the preservation of the meat. The seasoning lasts from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 12 months.