I awoke this morning to a tweet by ItalyTutto alerting me to the fact that this was the start of the Sagra del Lardo di Colonnata. It seems everyone on the net knows I’m a sucker for lardo, the salted slabs of backfat shown over there to the right.
Lardo, of course, was the lifeline for workers in the marble quarries. They had a hard life before humongous power tools. Lardo, bread and tomatoes made up lunch.
The man below is cutting the uber-thin slices of lardo that are best experienced laid gently upon a slice of bread toasted over a wood fire. He is an employee of Lunae winery in the Lunigiana. The scene is last year’s Cantine Aperte, open wineries where you can go, taste, listen to music and here, munch on lardo and wood oven baked bread among other local delicacies.
Colonnata is a village up in the marble mountains. I recommend the trip. It’s really quite beautiful up there.
You’ll learn that lardo is cured in large, chiseled marble vats called conche. You wash the vat with vinegar, then layer the lard with salt and spices and keep it with the lid on for six months or so. Then you have a food that melts in your mouth and explodes with piggy flavor.
What surprised me is how inexpensive those conche are. You can actually get a small one for 50 Euros. Sure, they’re made out of the brittle marble that’s unsuitable for those sinuous nudes, but hey, a lardo conche cocktail table for 50 Euro? I’m in.
Find out more: Lardo di Colonnata – Pig Fat Rules in the Lunigiana!, or get some surprising nutrition facts about lardo