Peta, Petuccia and Pitina, 3 Shrewd Specialties never Tamed

In traditionally poor areas, such as the valleys located north of Pordenone, when a chamois or a roe deer was killed, or when a goat or a sheep got sick (and were too precious to be slaughtered), people had to find a way not to waste anything. This vital meat preservation need gave birth to the famous “pitina”, with the alternative versions “peta” and “petuccia”, that differed from the original recipe in different herbs or different dimensions (for example, peta was bigger than pitina).

The pitina, born in Tramontina Valley, a famous Slow Food product, is a mix of sheep, goat, venison meat and lard. In its original and most authentic version it has one meat type only, chamois meat.

 

Peta and petuccia are more common in Cellina Valley, and are usually composed by bovine, pork and venison meat, in a slightly different recipe. Nevertheless these three sisters, in spite of these differences, share the same preparation technique, that includes the meat mashing, the adding of salt, pepper, wine, garlic, mountain herbs or wild fennel seeds. The last step is the forming of “meatballs” that are then “wrapped up” in corn flour, smoked and put in dedicated rooms to mature.

Like many Italian recipes, every local family has its own: of course weight and ingredients can change according to “family traditions”. In the little village of Andreis, the dough is even wrapped up in hemp (a really uncommon process).

From what has been inferred by reading ancient documents, the original spot where the pitina was born is Frassaneit, a tiny village in Tramonti di Sopra that has been completely abandoned in 1950s and that, nowadays, can be reached on foot exclusively, following and old mule track.