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Bresaola or brisaola is air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple colour. It is made from top inside round, and is lean and tender, with a sweet, musty smell. It originated in Valtellina, a valley in the Alps of northern Italy's Lombardy region.
The word comes from the diminutive of Lombard bresada, "braised".
As an antipasto, bresaola is usually sliced paper thin and served at room temperature or slightly chilled. It is most commonly eaten on its own, but may be drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, and served with rocket rucola, arugula salad, cracked black pepper, and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese. Carpaccio, which is made from raw beef, is sometimes confused with it. Sliced bresaola should be stored well-wrapped in a refrigerator.