New Producer Profile: Terra di Siena Traditional Italian Salumeria
Filippo Gambassi and friends
Less than an hour outside of Richmond, in the rolling Piedmont hills of rural Amelia County, Filippo Gambassi is following a generations-old tradition begun by his family in Tuscany. He and his wife, Irene Chiti, are working to produce traditional Italian salumi, using artisanal methods passed down to Filippo by family. Their company is called Terra di Siena, and just one taste of their cured meats will hook you. They are delicious! And, with their focus on local ingredients and artisanal methods, they fit right into the producer lineup at Fall Line Farms & Local Roots, our non-profit online market. (Click here to join.)
If you Google Terra di Siena, you’ll learn that Filippo’s family still runs the “mother company” in Italy, creating salumi by hand with local Tuscan ingredients. But the products on our FLF&LR pages, while they use the same artisanal methods and closely follow the family’s tried-and-true recipes, are made with locally-raised Virginia pork. According to Irene, she and Filippo love the challenge of replicating a real Italian artisanal process right here in Virginia, just like the process they have in Tuscany. And the results are mouthwatering!
Irene notes that Central Virginia has marked similarities to Tuscany, where Filippo’s family began this business six generations ago. And it has been relatively easy to set up the same process for creating high-quality salumi here. They love the beautiful landscape, and they have access to great local pork and the kinds of ingredients that allow Terra di Siena's tradition to flourish.
“Filippo learned how to do this as a child,” says Irene. “He was taught by his family. We use carefully selected ingredients, like sea salt from Sicily and fresh garlic. Our herbs and spices are organic. We buy our pepper whole and grind it by hand. The spices, too. Everything we do is with our hands. There’s no industrial machine!”
Filippo and Irene actually began Terra di Siena 8 years ago in Staunton, Virginia. They were using a small abattoir in Amelia to process their pigs and renting a curing chamber in the facility to finish their products. Two years ago, the owners of the abattoir decided to sell, and they decided to purchase the facility and move their operations from Staunton to Amelia.
Of course, the facility complies with all USDA regulations in order to keep the products safe for us to eat—but this still allows for the slow, natural aging and curing of the meat that creates Terra di Siena’s distinctive flavor profile.
“You can’t hurry the process,” explains Irene. “That’s an important part of the taste!”
We’re proud to offer such a delicious and storied line of products through our non-profit online farmers market, Fall Line Farms & Local Roots.
To shop for Terra di Siena on FLF&LR, click here.
Not yet a member of Fall Line Farms and Local Roots? It's easy to join! Click here.
Find out more about by visiting the Terra di Siena website ( www.terradisienausa.com) and follow them on social media @terradisienausa.