The term Cacciatore and its variants (e.g. cacciatorino) refer to “small seasoned salami that can be carried in a hunter’s bag as a small meal.”
The name is both clear and mysterious. The ancient Etruscan origin of “hunters’ salamis” dates back to about twenty centuries ago. The fact that they were introduced to the rest of Italy by their direct descendants, the Romans, explains the presence of these salamis in all parts of Italy.
Cacciatore and cacciatorino were the salamis hunters carried with them on hunts, along with bread, as a food that was particularly suited to their sport. A food that provided the right dose of fat for energy and high quality proteins rich in branched-chain amino acids.
They are sufficiently salted to compensate for the loss of salt associated with long intense runs in pursuit of wild game. This type of salami was available in a “concentrated” form but, especially, with a savoury and delicious flavor to provide the ideal nutrition for hunters.
As regards size, it depended on the estimated duration of the hunt. In any case, the small salamis tied in a row with string (filzetta) were the best suited and most appreciated, almost like today’s “single dose packages”.