The ancient origins of soprèssa are known from numerous historical and artistic quotations over the centuries. Jacopo Da Ponte painted the sausage in 1577 in his portrayal of "Christ at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus", in a kitchen in turmoil preparing a meal for a very important guest. He shows one sausage being sliced and others hanging in the background, and they look very similar to soprèssa. The specialty is also mentioned in an inventory dated 1777 and listed in the books of the Chamber of Commerce of Vicenza that began including the item "Salame e soppressa" in 1862, underscoring a long-standing tradition for this product in the area.
It is a quality sausage with deep ties to the area of production, the culmination of local culture and rural gastronomic traditions. Since the 1950s, many events and local festivals have been dedicated to this product.
The pigs' diet is carefully monitored and based almost exclusively on top quality cereals. Slaughter and processing are carried out in small, local workshops which follow traditional working methods and are adequately monitored. Climate and the characteristic of the air in this geographical area, surrounded by the Piccole Dolomites, from the Berici Hills to the Altopiano of Asiago, influence both the animal breeding process and the ripening of the sausage, determining its distinctive taste and giving it in particular its characteristic and exclusive bouquet.
A unique attribute of the soprèssa vicentina P.D.O. lies in the fact that the best cuts of pork are used, including lean cuts, such as the leg - normally reserved for ham - and fat, which determines its final quality. The selected meat is minced in a grinder, using plates with hole diameter of between 6 and 7 mm. Other ingredients are added to the minced meat, such as salt, pepper and other spices, mixed well for a homogeneous blend.
The soprèssa vicentina P.D.O. is cylindrical or lightly curved, and comes in different sizes: it can vary from 25 to 50 cm in length and 7 to 12 cm in diameter. It is sold at weights of between 0.7 kg to more than 4 kg. It is the length and location of ripening that gives it its outer colour, which starts out as off-white to become a light grey. Upon cutting the meat appears reddish, tending to rose coloured, with evenly distributed parts of fat. The seasoning, which at times carries the aroma of garlic, gives the product a delicate and unmistakable taste that is sweet but equally savoury.