US lifts ban on imports of Italian salami, pancetta, other pork products.
America’s antipasti are about to get more varied and more authentic.
The US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced the end of a 45-year-old ban on such pork products such as salami, pancetta, coppa, culatello and soppressata that are dry cured for fewer than 400 days and originate from the Italian regions of Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Piemonte and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano. This follows an APHIS determination that those areas are free of swine vesicular disease (SVD).
The Italian industry association for cured meats, ASSICA, calls the decision “a momentous event,” the result of more than 15 years of work to remove one of the non-tariff barriers that cost Italy €250 million in lost export sales each year.
The 1967 ban was last amended in 1987, when Italian proscuitto and mortadella cured for at least 400 days was readmitted after APHIS determined that processing for that length of time destroyed the SVD virus. Last year, the US imported almost US$15.8 million worth of salami and ham from Italy, making it the third-ranked country of origin for cured pork products, according to US Census import data. (See the graph below.) The first wave of newly available cold cuts should be lifting Italian exports to the US in another two months. We’ll check back on the data.
We used our bill of lading data to look up current shippers and importers of Italian salumi to the US. Here, for example, are the top five shippers (led, ironically, by Denmark’s Tulip Company) and consignees of mortadella, an Italian pork sausage on which American bologna is based. (The two products, connoisseurs say, are more than an ocean apart: comparing them makes it clear why the availability of more Italian originals is cause for celebration).
Date posted: June 19, 2013