August 25, 2009

Tuscan Treasures- Macelleria Marianelli

I must have a gourmet guardian angel.

We reserved tickets for a dinner and a show as part of a new "Utopia del Buongusto", a series of theater pieces arranged by Andrea Kaemmerle and his Theatre Company. As we had never been to the village where the show was being held, Montopoli, we decided to go early and check it out. I new that my friend Simone de Castro's dad had a shop there ( bakery or forno for bread) so the goal was to find the shop.

I spotted this shop as soon as we came into the village.

Like the nearby San Miniato, the village is built on a ridge and the town is one street. We parked at the lot near the old castle which was distroyed during WWII. Passing through a lovely arch we took a stroll and immediately found a treasure. A tiny butcher shop, but filled with aged prosciutto's and salami's as well as freshly made sausages hanging in the shop. Most butcher shops deal with fresh meat.

A Norcino is one that transforms pork into other products, and what products!

The specialty, "Stradivari" ash-aged prosciutto

Their product included several recipes created by them, with antique recipes:

Costellaccio del sacrestano is a special "pancetta" created with one of these old recipes. The pork belly is salted and aged bone-in and then boned and aged again in red wine.

It is possible to find pork from the " GREAT WHITE" with is flavorful layer of fat.
When an animal is fed on natural products instead of feed, the fat actually has the nutritional benifits of olive oil. Usually the pigs here eat a lot of chestnuts.

Where we parked, at the arch, was where the original butcher shop was outside the city walls, where the owners, would slaughter the hogs for the locals and transform the meat into products for aging.
The term Norcino, came from the village of Norcia in Umbria, famous for it's pork products.
I am preparing a new program for chefs and those with a passion for pork.
5 days and 5 ways - a pork lover's tour of Italy.
We will explore the way pork is prepared in Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, visiting such masters to learn to be our own Norcini.
Carrying on traditions, like the Marianelli family. Five Generations- celebrating 100 years of business in 2010!
Auguri e Grazie Mille!
I can't wait to go back and try the other specialties, next time I am bringing my special shopping bag for meats!
Antica Macelleria-Norcineria Marianelli
Centro Storico- Montopoli Val d'Arno


  1. What a wonderful trip! Lucky you!

  2. wow what a shop got to love italy

  3. What a wonderful post. I am green with envy.

  4. I would love to be part of a touring pork class!

  5. Lovely blog. I was taken when I saw the name.

  6. That ash aged prosciutto looks delicious!

  7. I too have been to that shop. I was staying in a nearby agriturismo, which is well worth a visit (Bramasole e Ginestre web:, and went to this shop for various cuts over the two weeks that I was there. The butcher now has a restaurant in which he serves the products he sells. Its a meat lovers paradise!!