It’s long been a major disappointment to budding gourmands to learn that some of the world’s highest-quality cured meat, coming from Italy, isn't allowed to be exported to the American market. While Italian meats that have been produced by USDA-approved facilities (which could afford full-time on-site inspectors) have been allowed into the country since 1989, the smaller producers have been left out in the cold. All that might be changing, though; according to the Los Angeles Times, the ban may be overturned as soon as May 28.
Meats from small, artisanal Italian producers have never been approved for import, because it’s impossible for the federal government to regulate it all. The Italian wire service ANSA, however, reported on Friday that the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services announced that the long-standing USDA ban on the import of Italian cured meats will be lifted.
While the reasons behind the reversal aren’t clear, if this is true it’s a major victory for food lovers everywhere. We’ll be stocking up on culatello, bresaola, and coppa.