I was saddened when in early January, I drove by my neighbors farm and didn't see the pigs anymore.
I was so excited to see the real Nose to Tail celebration and document it.
In past years, I have driven by when the Norcino is there, and they set up a big wooden table outside for the preparation of the pig to pork.
I asked Daniele, the young son, who has now taken over the winery production if I had missed it all. Yes. They slaughter before January 17th... and all the pork was already being aged, and invited me back to see the prosciutto.
Today was the day.
First they showed me the room where they had a Burista hanging with the fireplace lit. Burista is the Blood sausage, seasoned with lemon and the tuscan droghe, an ancient blend of spices, each norcino has his own personal mixture, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardomon being some of the spices used.
Burista is made by grinding pork meat and fat, binding with the blood and then boiling. It can then be kept and eaten in slices. More like a blood pudding.
In another room, they were aging the regular Tuscan Salami, which is made with hand cut larger fat, and also the finocchiona, made with ground fat and seasoned with fennel seeds.
Passing through the home kitchen, where he cut off a pice of the fabulous fresh salami, we headed up to the Guest room at the top of the house.
I could smell a wonderful vinegar infused, herbal fragrance.
The prosciutto's had been taken from their one month rest under salt, and were hanging to age in the guest room. Rubbed with a garlic, black pepper, vinegar paste, these prosciutto's will stay here for at least a year.
When I counted, 9 pieces..I questioned if they had had several three-legged pigs!
They made both prosciutto, from the hind haunches and spalla from the smaller shoulder pieces.
My math wasn't wrong, but they had shared the pigs they had with a friend who helped with the slaughter and preparation, so his share was 3 of the pieces.
I have been officially invited back for next year.
I think I want a whole hog!
This is Daniele's first year of his own wine production.
Az Ag Scarpeto di Sotto