There is a close link between lard, territory, marble and the quarrymen's hard labour. Just look at the landscape, scan the mountains, and the marble with its veins and the patterns of its blocks: it is just natural to compare it to the cuts, veins and colour of lard.
In this area herbs grow that have intense, persistent scents, due to sun-dried air and sea glare – a plus in the history and tradition of lard making. Lard, which can be easily preserved in your cellar, is light, healthy and energetic and a mouthwatering delicacy if tasted on a slice of bread.
The meats processed by Azienda Giannarelli to make all its charcuterie are from pigs born, bred and butchered only in Italy: they are white pigs weighing not less than 250 Kg bred in the Po Plain area (for the classical cured cold cuts line) and Cinta Senese black pigs bred in the wild in Oliviero Toscani's “O.T” Farm at Casale Marittimo, Tuscany.
With such meats Lardo di Colonnata, Vergazzata, Guanciale, pressed Pancetta, lard cream and a small quantity of sausages are produced. With our secret mix we also prepare our special Colonnata Salt.
The spices we use for the flavouring of our charcuterie are the historical heritage from the Greek stonecutters the Romans had summoned to teach the locals how to cut marble, who used those spices to flavour their food and keep a link with their motherland. It is a rich mixture of black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and star anise seeds with
the addition of fresh local garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs. With natural sea salt a unique brine is obtained for use in pork butchery which, together with the quality of meat, the Colonnata marble and the air of the Apuan Alps, makes our charcuterie absolutely special.
The story has been going on since the time when the Romans decided they would exploit these marble mountains, built the port of Luni and summoned skilled stonecutters from Greece. If mechanical tools are required to cut marble into slabs, human hands and talent are however responsible for the detection of the best veins and choice of blocks.
The same is true for lard: nothing can substitute man's hands that must 'feel' it and accompany all its accurate processing steps. We are and will always be craftsmen; with our hands and knives we massage and cut the lard, carefully following the gestures that can be only learnt through observation and listening to the advice, or even orders, that have been passed on from generation to generation.
Marble basins used to preserve lard have always been a common feature of household goods in Colonnata. A piece of bread, a slice of lard and a hip flask of water were the ingredients of a light, nourishing meal that quarrymen used to carry when they went to challenge the mountain. The marble that provides for one's living also provides for the life of cured pork cuts.
The basins are hewn from the marble of Canaloni, a narrow valley behind Colonnata where the marble has a higher glass content, is semigloss, is not chemically treated and guarantees ideal osmosis with the exterior. Just like one thousand years ago our cured cuts are processed inside those basins.