Soleterra d'Italia

Soleterra d'Italia

By Natasha Cousin

Alberta-made salamis have launched at Soleterra d’Italia! The company, which produces authentic Italian cooked and dry-cured meats, started in 2016 with production located in Modena, Italy.  Just over two years and a ton of work later, all nine salamis are now produced in Acme, Alberta using Sunterra Farms pork.

“You can’t get closer to a local product in Calgary,” says Sunterra Group President Ray Price. 

The move means that Soleterra d’Italia now has full traceability to the farm. The pigs are raised at Sunterra Farms and processed at Sunterra Meats before coming to Soleterra d’Italia. It’s a unique opportunity. And one that no other supplier in Western Canada has right now, Ray says.

Ray, whose parents and older brother founded Sunterra Farms in 1970, first met Celestino Simonini at a pork trade show in Japan. Celestino is a third generation Italian prosciutto and salami maker who loved the quality of Sunterra Farms pork so much that he struck up a partnership with Ray that would eventually become Soleterra d’Italia. 

Using the Simonini family’s recipes and processes, the Soleterra d’Italia salamis might be made in Alberta but in a very Italian way, says Ray. The company has relied on the Italians’ expertise in both building the new production facility and making products exactly as they would be made in Italy. 

The Simoninis even sent one of their top sausage makers here to work at the new facility. And with the technology in the new Acme building, the Italians can check in on things such as the humidity level in each curing room via a mobile app. 

The facility, an impressive 65,000 square foot building, hosts the Soleterra d’Italia offices and production floor as well as the new Sunterra Farms offices. Ray says they considered locating it right in Calgary but liked the idea of supporting the Acme community.

“We believe in rural diversification,” says Ray. “For us it’s a big deal.” The company is initially hiring about a dozen people but plans to add more workers when they begin curing more meats such as coppa and pancetta. For now though, the focus is on hams and salamis, says Ray.

Soleterra d’Italia (pronounced Soul-aye-terra) makes two kinds of cooked hams that are perfect for lunches and appetizers. Rostello ham is marinated with rosemary, tied in string and roasted to perfection while its big brother, Modena ham, is made with Marsala wine for a full-bodied, natural taste.

Their selection of salamis includes garlicky Ungherese, spicy Calabrese piccante, fennel-flavoured finocchio and even tartufo – made with indulgent black truffle. 

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