October 10, 2017 – Tuesday, Arezzo Excursion #1- Cintosienese Pork Farm
We started the day with a walk up to San Francesca, a 13th century church that houses the fresco series “The Legend of the True Cross”. (enlarge the pictures with a click)
Soon, we boarded the chauffered van to begin our trip to the “pig farm”. That had our interest peaked. We traveled through Tuscany to its internal region named Chianti located between Florence and Sienna. The farm is called Casamonte (hill house), and we saw beautiful country side and hilltop villages along the way. As we drew near, the van slowly crawled along a very narrow gravel road between two rows of cedar trees.
The feet are still attached in the first picture so the butcher/marketer can determine the breed. The worker is dressed in white to keep the area extremely clean. The pigs are actually a part of Italy’s controlled selection of the finest pork. Cinta, which means belt, have a belt of white across their chest and down their front legs. Cinta Sienese (from Siena) is the full name for this breed. They can be compared to Kobe Beef, but they are not mistreated. They roam the property and are fed a controlled scientific diet in addition to whatever they eat as they roam, which includes lots of acorns as in Spain.. The property is fenced to keep the wild pigs from entering and destroying the purity of the breed. The farm raises 600 pigs @ €12,000 per mo. for their feed.
Prosciutto di Chini is cured for 2 yrs. wrapped in rice flour, fat and mostly pepper. It is low in cholesterol and never smoked. Their meats include prosciutto crudo, Finocchiona, Capricola tenderloin, filet, and pancita ritolata which has spices incorporated.
Casamonte also has 6000 olive trees which produce 800 liters of olive oil. Their vineyard produced Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Reserve. The vineyard also has contols by the industry so the number of vines always remains the same. The logo is the black rooster. If there is a white band around the bottle label that means it has been approved,
After touring the meat storage area we enjoyed a typical five course meal which introduced us to the wines, the olive oil and the pork products.
When we arrived after our long van ride, the owner greeted us with a glass of prosecco and a tray of cheese.
After the tour, we were treated to a “light” lunch that included:
Meal- light lunch with Chianti Classico and Chianti Reservi
Pasta with capricola pork tenderloin, ground, in a white flavorful sauce.
Meats tray with three cold cuts- proscuitto crudo, pancetta ribolata and salami 3 bruschetti (pronounced bruce ketty): cream cheese with olives; tomato sauce; mushroom and truffles
Parmesan cheese with aceto balsamico (25 years old) Tuscany L’Elogid di Casamonte – black and white label dessert wine; Super Tuscan, Double fermentation
Dessert: frutta jam on tarta. Tart black cherries and orange.
We were a very happy group as we rolled along in our van, returning to Arezzo for the evening.