After we had squeezed ourselves between the vats of Colonnata lardo producer Al Lardo, Al Lardo so we could get as comfy as one can when wedged between cool marble slabs, the owner points his foot at a floor tile and begins to outline it with his toe.
“We cut the lardo into squares about the size of one of these tiles,” he says (calmly, but with an edge; you can tell there’s something on his mind and it’s not comforting). “Now, here’s the thing. The government allows us a single tag identifying the lardo as Lardo di Colonnata IGP on the whole square of lardo. Nothing wrong with that.”
(The problem is that almost nobody wants to eat that much lardo, even on a bet. I mean, just tell your cardiologist that you had a picnic and ate a kilo or so of cured piggy backfat because you had to buy it that way and felt you didn’t want to waste it. He’d likely tell you never to come back again if you were gonna treat your ticker so horribly. [Of course, he would be wrong, but we’ll discuss some surprising health issues in our next edition of Lardo Tales.])
“So we cut it into smaller pieces. But then there’s only one piece which carries the tag. So if we cut the slab into ten manageable pieces to sell, there’s only one that qualifies as Lardo di Colannata IGP, the one with the tag, and we can’t sell the other nine pieces with that designation, even when it’s cut off the same slab.
But get this: A supermarket can sell all the pieces they cut as Lardo di Colannata IGP, it’s just the supplier who can’t sell them that way.
So click the picture up there to see it larger. What you’re lookin’ at is two packaged pieces of lardo, one with the tag and the label “Lardo di Colannata IGP” and the other labeled “Lardo Artigianale.” Behind the two are two slabs of lardo still covered with salt in the process of being packaged. Each is showing the official tags.
Life is a bit odd in LardoLand.
See: Lardo Tales, Part 1