Whether garnished with a little olive oil and a few parmesan flakes as a wafer-thin carpaccio, or “alla piastra”, i.e. sliced then grilled for a few seconds, as a starter or as a main course – carne salada will melt in the mouth no matter how it is served.
Carne salada is a classic Garda Trentino delicacy and can be prepared in many ways: it is often served with warm beans (“fasoi”). Other combinations, for example with broccoli di Torbole, with mushrooms or other creations, can be found on the menus of numerous restaurants.
To make carne salada, only extremely high-quality, lean beef is used, seasoned in one piece with salt, bay leaves, black pepper, juniper berries, crushed garlic cloves and rosemary – there also exist numerous closely-guarded secret family recipes. The meat was once stored in containers of wood or stone, but today it is kept in stainless steel containers: it is finally ready to enjoy after 25 days.
Carne salada has its origins in and around Arco and Tenno and is now recognised by the Italian Food Ministry as a protected product and has also been awarded the De.Co. quality seal. The tradition dates back to the 15 th century: the original aim was to preserve meat that was levied as a customs duty from the nearby busy Adige Valley and could not be consumed immediately.
Today, however, carne salada is considered a regional speciality and is a leading player on the Trentino culinary scene.