Bresaola is Italian, air-dried, salted beef that has been aged up to 3 months until it becomes hard and turns dark red. It is usually cut into strips and served with olive oil and lemon, al though some prefer it plain with Italian bread served on the side.
In Italy, it is served as an antipasto and it is sliced so thin that it is almost translucent. Although the meat is air-dried, it is moist. The meat can come from the sirloin, the rump or the round cuts of beef. Not all beef used is from Italy, however. Due to the mad cow disease breakout, some of the beef was imported from South America and used in Italy. The mad cow disease issue also caused the importation of bresaola from Italy to the United States to be banned for some years.