Today I want to talk of Lardo di Colonnata and its manufacture.
The characteristic feature of Lardo s the particular form of processing and conserving pig fat, seasoned in marble vessels.
The area of production of “Lardo” is represented exclusively by Colonnata, mountain-hills of the municipality of Carrara, province of Massa Carrara.
The Lardo is obtained by corresponding cuts of meat from the fat layer
covering the back of the occipital region to the rump and round to the belly
The ingredients are: natural sea salt, ground black pepper, fresh rosemary, peeled and coarsely diced garlic.
The processing of lardo is seasonal, it takes place from September to May of each year.
The fat must be fresh, within 72 hours of slaughter: is trimmed, coated with salt and then placed in special marble basins, known locally as basins, have previously been rubbed with garlic, alternating layers of lardo with other ingredients to the filling of the container; then the basin is covered.
The basins are containers of white marble in the shape of a bathtub.
The lardo must mature in the basins for a period not less than six months, in premises with little ventilation and no artificial air-conditioning.
Lardo can be eaten in thin slices of toasted bread on which melts by the heat of the slice of bread; but also on grilled vegetables. If you want you can add a drop of honey to create a nice contrast of sweet and salty
Black rooster is the symbol of Chianti league and it is known all over the world but there is a less known aspect tied to this symbol, especially a legend of medieval origins.
The legend recounts that in the Middle Ages, when therepublics of Florence and Siena were fiercely battling for dominion, the territory of Chianti, lying between the two cities, was fought over almost continuously. To end the dispute and establish a definitive border a bizarre method was devised. It was agreed that two knights would set forth from their respective cities and establish the border where they met. Departure was to be at dawn and the starting signal given by cock’s crow.
So the choice of rooster would be more decisive to event preparation than either knight or steed. The Sienese chose a white one, the Florentines a black, which they pent up in a small, dark sty and deprived of food for so many days that it was practically frantic.
On the fateful day of departure, as soon as it was released from its prison the black rooster began to crow, although it was far from dawn. Its crowing allowed the Florentine rider to depart immediately, with a great advantage over the Sienese who had to wait for daybreak for his rooster to crow on time, signaling his own departure. But since his rival had started out so much earlier, the Sienese knight rode only twelve kilometers before encountering the Florentine knight at Fonterutoli. It was thus that almost all of Chianti came under the control of the Florentine republic.
It’s truly a beautiful legend to tell