Tuscany, like the whole of Italy, is known all over the world also for its food, culinary tradition, and delicious local products such as cured meats. In this post, I will bring you to Gombitelli, a little hill village hidden by the forest of the Apuan Alps, known for the production of delicious cured meats, by the family Triglia and their Salumificio Artigianale Triglia. It is close to the bigger and known town of Viareggio in Versilia.
The Story Of The Small Village of Gombitelli
In 1500, a group of blacksmiths came down from Germany with the holy Roman Emperor Charles V and decided to stop in this village to start the production of nails. A funny thing is that the original inhabitants mixed their language with Germans giving rise to a brand new dialect.
Today some of the elderly still speak this strange language, so different from the other ones in the region. This is the reason why Gombitelli is a Language Island. After the decline of nail production, other artisanal activities began. Among which the pig meat processing. Gombitelli is today famous, especially for the pink lard and other different kinds of cured meats.
The ancient tradition of processing meat has been handed down from generation to generation. In Versilia, everyone knows these specialties and they all appreciate the taste and high quality.
The Best Cured Meats from Gombitelli in Tuscany
Biroldo is typical handmade sausage made with the less noble parts of the pig blended with its blood. Only the women produce it because with their small hands, they can better treat it. It is considered one the typical Italian agribusiness products and it is good to taste it even cold with bread or warmed in a pan.
Soppressata is a seasoned sausage, obtained using the less noble parts of the pig. They are put into a jute canvas to dry and then it is ready. It do not need aging because it is eaten fresh. The best way to taste it is with a slice of bread and a good glass of red.
Salsiccia di Gombitelli
This is the most know Tuscan sausage made with selected part of the pig and mixed together with secret special aromas as rosemary or sage. It is so good to eat fresh on a slice of handmade Tuscan bread or even grilled during a barbecue party.
This kind of lard is different from the most famous Lardo di Colonnata, but this not means that it is worse. It is different the process of production and the time of aging. The lard rest in a tank with brine and a secret mix of aromas during the winter. When spring arrives, two pieces of lard are rolled together till the lean meat shapes a little heart. Then it needs another period of aging before to be ready. This way to make it, give the lean meat a soft pink color. Bigger Chefs for their dishes often use pink Lard.
This special ham is not as salty as the typical tuscan ham. It has a gentle, soft and unique chestnut flavor. It is seasoned for 36 months in special storehouse made in stones usually used to dry chestnut (during the production of chestnut flour). This is the reason why it takes the flavor and the aroma of chestnut. In the past it was not considered a fine product and only peasantry ate it. Today it is consider a deliciousness, to try with Sgabei of Lunigiana.
Mortadella nostrale it is different from the classic one of Bologna. It is a pork sausage made with important part of the pig as the shoulder, the coppa and bacon. It looks like salami.
In Gombitelli, they produce various different kind of salami. Unique products made a mix of ingredients such as pig meat and olives, walnuts or pistachio nuts.
Do as I do. Try this version of pork carpaccio on a slice of bread, with a piece of pecorino cheese and olive oil on top. I have no words to describe how delicious it is.
We have to thanks the families of Gombitelli if we can still enjoy all these cured meats and other delicacies as made by their own forefathers.