|Lardo, in all of it's fatty glory|
There are few things in this world more decadent then eating thinly sliced, white ribbons of cured fatback on a piece of warm bread. The fat melts slowly over the bread, turning into glossy, opaque slivers of deliciousness that have notes of rosemary, herbs and sometimes cinnamon. A foodie dream or a cardiologist nightmare? You can argue both sides, but a recent trip to the ancient mountain village of Colonnata, the home of the most famous lardo in Italy, lardo di Colonnata, meant that lardo would be consumed in large amounts.
Lardo is one of the most unique Tuscan salumi that I've encountered. A few years ago when studying abroad here, I remember looking at the slices of lardo atop the salt less bread typical here in Tuscany with a raised eyebrow. Already counting the kilos I had been packing on studying food in Tuscany, I was more then a little dubious, but the food student in me couldn't resist the IGP protected product with a history that goes back for centuries.
After my first bite, I was hooked. It quite literally melts in your mouth, covering your tongue with smooth fat and spices. Lardo is made of cured pork fatback, using salt, herbs, including rosemary, and spices, like cinnamon. In little Colonnata, the winding streets that run alongside the sharp white marble mountains of Carrara are filled with one larderia, where you cure and sell the famous star of Colonnata, after another.
|one larderia of many|
|Where the magic happens|
We sat down to a lunch of mixed antipasti, which obviously included lardo, and then a grilled steak covered in the silky white slices of fat melting over the meat. It was decadent and delicious, and I couldn't help but think about all of the people in the world on a diet after the New Year.
|Ready to bring home!|
|Everything is made of marble!|