il Lardo di Colonnata IGP

LARD

It has a white, almost rose-coloured appearance;sometimes you might be lucky enough to find the so-called “streak” of intense pink colour that increases its visual beauty and adds extra flavour.The upper part is coveredin a thick layer of sea salt, which is grey-black in appearancethanks to the spices in which it is drenched.  The thickness of each piece (from 0.5 to 1.5 kg) varies from about 4 to 8 cm.It has an unbeatable flavour thanks to the microclimate composed of currents of air that are unlikely to escape from the “niche” in which the village of Colonnata is located.

PREPARATION

The ancient process has been handed down from generation to generation. The ageing process takes place in marble basins:hollowed out blocks of white marble.The lard placed inside it together with salt and various spices produces a brine that preserves and maintains it for years.It has been said for centuries that the strength and exceptionally good health of the miners can be attributed toLardo di Colonnata.

AGEING

The ageing process lasts 6-10 months.The natural humidity of the grottos and the porosity of the marble walls of the basin create natural conditions for the ageing process.Chemical and bacteriological analyses have shown that the ancient method is extremely effective and no chemical treatments or preservatives are needed for its conservation.

STORAGE

Fold the flap of rind left after cutting back over the lard. Keep the piece of lard as it is and wrap it with its salt in a cloth that should always be kept slightly damp.Store in a cellar or cool place, otherwise keep it in the vegetable drawer of a fridge.

HOW TO EAT IT

Using a sharp knife, separate the upper part from the lower rind, just enough to cut the number of slices required.Clean off any excess salt.Cut the lard into thin slices and lay onto small slices of bread, excellent if lightly warmed or even lightly toasted, however fresh bread is fine too.We recommend adding a slice of tomato without any dressing.Excellent served with crostini (slices of bread toasted in the oven).

OTHER USES

When you have finished the lard, the rind and salt can be usedto make an excellent country or Tuscan-style soup.The rind has an unbeatable, exquisite and unique flavour.It can be cooked in tin foil or greaseproof paper, on a barbecue or in a domestic oven.

HOW TO EAT IT

 

Using a sharp knife, separate the upper part from the lower rind, just enough to cut the number of slices required. Clean off any excess salt. Cut the lard into thin slices. Fold the flap of rind left after cutting back over the lard. Keep the piece of lard as it is and wrap it with its salt in a cloth that should always be kept slightly damp.Store in a cellar or cool place, otherwise keep it in the vegetable drawer of a fridge.

Certified Quality

Lardo di Colonnata is made from cuts of pork meat taken from the layer of fat (from which the suet has been removed) covering the back of the pig from the occipital area to the rump, reaching down as far as the belly at the sides. We use only natural ingredients, selected spices and herbs from the unspoilt nature of the Carrara side of the Apuan Alps and the ageing process lasts for at least 6 months, following a recipe dating back more than four generations.The quality of Mafalda’s Lardo di Colonnata PGI is guaranteed by first class raw materials and all the care you would expect from good craftsmanship combined with the safety standards of the most modern companies.The strictest controls and supply chain traceability offer consumers complete reassurance. The chemical and bacteriological analyses have shown that the ancientmethod is extremely effective and no chemical treatments or preservatives are needed for its conservation. Also, contrary to what you might think, the cholesterol content is almost non-existent.

I.G.P. Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)

This certification protects a product originating from a territory the quality, reputation, recipe and features whereof can be traced back to the geographical origin as long as at least one of the production, transformation and processing steps are carried out in the restricted area. Those producing in conformity to the D.O.P. and I.G.P. standards must strictly abide by the regulatory provisions and compliance with said regulations is controlled by an external organization to guarantee the end-consumer. Having always based its production on top quality standards, Antica Larderia Mafalda immediately implemented these protective certifications, so as to ensure the consumer with maximum guarantee and safety.

Chemical & Physical / Nutritional properties

aW 0,75 – pH 5,50

Nutrition Facts (average values)

Energy value 3.167 KJ/100g – 770 Kcal/100g

Fatty Acids 84,80 g/100g

of which Saturated Fatty Acids 35,13 g/100g

Carbohydrates 0,60 g/100g of which

Sugars 0,02 g/100g

Proteins1,11 g/100g Salt 1,78 g/100g

ALLERGENS The product does not contain allergenic substances, additives, preserving or colouring agents, gluten, lactose, ionizing agents and nanomaterials. GMOs and PESTICIDES The product does not contain genetically modified organisms.It does not contain chemicals nor it derives from them. STORAGE INFORMATIONKeep in a cool place, away from sunlight. Once opened, store in the refrigerator at a temperature between 0°C and +4°C.

100% Natural

Colonnata is not a pig farming area.Procurement is at the discretion of the producers, who play the field in the search for the best. Almost all of the pigs come from Emilia, Veneto, Piedmont and Tuscany. But what is it about this lard that makes it so delicious and unique and how does it differ from any other? This question is difficult to answer until you have tasted it. One thing is certain, once tried, even the most sceptical of people will add lard to their list of favourite foods. The inhabitants of Colonnata are masters in its preparation. The process is similar to that used in many other places, but there are two essential additional components, one of which cannot be found anywhere else: the microclimate and the marble, which must be from the Canaloni marble beds of Colonnata and does not absorb or exude substances, thanks to its extremely fine grain that gives it glassy, almost granite-like characteristics. The natural humidity of the grottos and marble walls of the basin create natural ageing conditions. Chemical and bacteriological analyses have shown that the ancient method is extremely effective and no chemical treatments or preservatives are needed for its conservation. It must be the air that you breathe in Colonnata, the humidity of its grottos and the microorganisms found inside the quarries. The truth is that pig fat aged in this town has sensory characteristics like no other. The combined effect of the above factors together with skilful seasoning allows the lard to soften and take on particularly intense and pleasant flavours and fragrances. It requires careful monitoring over the months to ensure there are no abnormalities and that it is perfectly preserved when it reaches the end of the ageing process. That is when it takes on a white, almost rose-coloured hue and when finely sliced the streaks appear almost transparent. It should be eaten as it is, placed on slices of bread toasted in the oven. Even those suffering from food disorders and following a special diet can eat lard because, contrary to what you might think, the cholesterol content is almost non-existent*

* Excerpt from:CaratteristicheChimico-Nutrizionali E Stato Di Ossidazione Del Lardo Di Colonnata (Chemical-Nutritional Characteristics and State of Oxidation of Lardo di Colonnata) by Palagi, Anna Francesca – Agricultural Science and Technology, 2011, University of Pisa

Lardo di Colonnata is a high quality product, highly regarded by Italian consumers and increasingly more so by foreign consumers and in 2004 was awarded European PGI status (Reg. 1856/2004). It is made in Colonnata, a small village in the province of Massa and Carrara.The thesis set out to study what effect the breed and duration of the ageing process had on some of the chemical and nutritional characteristics (composition of fatty acids, cholesterol content) and on the state of oxidation of the lipid component of Lardo di Colonnata.The lard used for the experiment was produced in accordance with the rules of production applicable to Lardo di ColonnataPGI. The layer of fat from the back of Large White and Cinta Senese pig breeds was used as the raw material (backfat).The analysis was performed over the course of 1 year and involved samples of lard taken at 0 (BF), 90 (L-1), 180 (L-2), 270 (L-3) and 360 (L-4) days of ageing. These samples were analysed with regard to the composition of triglycerides in fatty acids and free fatty acids, separated by solid phase extraction (SPE).The cholesterol content was assessed by the quantification of silylated derivatives by GC, after cold saponification of the sample.The oxidation of fatty acids was assessed by the quantification of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), whilst for the oxidation of cholesterol the COPs, that is to say the products of its oxidation, were separated and quantified, after excess cholesterol was eliminated from the unsaponifiable fraction by SPE… The production technique based on the rules applicable to “Lardo di Colonnata”, together with the ageing process, stops lipid oxidation and a reduction can be seen in the value of the TBARS and COP (oxidation of cholesterol, Cholesterol Oxidation Products) content.True Lardo di Colonnata can only come from Colonnata.

This is what sets it apart from the rest.

Firstly: the climate.

Colonnata, located 550 metres above sea level and nestled between marble quarries and chestnut woods, is blessed with a microclimate that is perfect for a long product ageing process (minimum six months, but it can be up to two years or more) which takes place in marble basins (known as conche in Italian) at a natural temperature (without artificial air conditioning).That is the main reason why only lard processed in Colonnata is true Lardo di Colonnata.

Secondly: the marble.

Ageing a product within the living, breathing walls of marble or in inert containers made of steel, or worse plastic, is clearly just not the same. Also, not all marble is the same: you need to choose the right one, fine-grained marble from the Canaloni marble beds in Colonnata.

Thirdly: the seasonal production (from September to May).

Fourthly: the extraordinary variety of local aromatic herbs and spices (no additives, preservatives or flavourings are allowed).

Lastly: the production technique. Everyone in Colonnata has inherited a recipe, at least one marble basin and knowledge of a technique that has remained unchanged for centuries.

It starts with the raw material, pig fat, nowadays mostly originating from selected farms in central and northern Italy. Take a large cut, scrape off the suet and cut it into parallelepipeds with even sides.Then rub in some sea salt.