Firenze - 23-01-2009
Britain’s Prince Charles, who truly enjoys the Italian cured meat Culatello, has now entrusted his own pigs to the Italian pig farmer Massimo Spigaroli. Owner of the Antica Corte Pallavicina, Spigaroli is also the president of the Culatello di Zibello Consortium and spoke recently with WineNews about his profession and relationship with the British prince.
“We began with Culatello, which seemed to us like one of the most important Italian cured meat products, even though not everyone is aware of this. After which we worked on it for a while, and we continued to be the paladins of its quality, of the territory, and of its great flavors and smells. Then there was a study on the antique breeds of our territory and even on the entire production of pork”.
It was a study that even ended up re-evaluating the local antique grape varietal, Fortana, thus giving a certain prestige back to it. “But” – continued Spigaroli – “the thing that most interested Prince Charles was the tasting of a product that is so important and so exclusive, that is, Culatello, in which he tasted flavors and perfumes completely different from that which he knew of cured meats”. And upon tasting this meat, Prince Charles exclaimed: “We also have antique breeds. In Italy, they have been re-evaluated and are creating excellent cured meats. I, on the other hand, am a custodian of English breeds but I only keep them alive and am unable to produce anything because they say that they are not inclined to this. I would like to meet who made these things”. ”Thus” – concluded Spigaroli – “I was invited to his estate in Galles, where we spoke, discussed with the men of the farm, and in the end he asked if I could work on his project and work with his pigs there. But I told him that artisans have very little technology but, instead, a mind full of knowledge and, above all, the use of their territory, so I told him that I could not go there. He was a bit surprised at first, but then he asked me what we could do, and I told him that he could send his pigs and I could try from home, where I am in my environs, where I know the situation and my micro-climate.
And that’s what we did. In November, the first Large Black and Tamworth pigs arrived and in the end I produced the first cured meats and I have already sent some and he was very enthusiastic. Over the next year and a half I will continue to send more as soon as it is ready”.
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