Near Norcia, a Preci Tradition Lives On
You might know that Norcia, Umbria medieval mountain- town gem, is famous for its norcinerie. “Norcineria” can’t be translated with a single word: “a pork-butchery store selling other local products” sums it up. And in just about every tiny mountain town near Norcia, you’ll find a norcineria.
Like Norcia, Preci was devastated in the October 30, 2016 earthquake.
Since the Middle Ages, Preci has been renowned for its butchers. Experts in castration of pigs and sheep, as of the 15th century the preciani became famous throughout Europe for surgery performed on male singers, resulting in the mellifluous voices of the castrati.
This charming mountain town is now off limits and the curious Museo della Chirurgia (the Surgery Museum includes castration instruments) is indefinitely closed.
But a family of butchers – three brothers – carry on the Preci norcineria tradition passed on by their father. Massimiliano was serving customers fresh meats as we arrived and handled Pino’s order for fresh sausages
…and then the coppiette dangling above the counter caught Pino’s eye – and here again, translation is a challenge: “chewy dried pork strips” is the best I can do. Roberto added a few of those to our order:
We didn’t meet the third brother, Claudio, as he works in their laboratorio transforming the butchered pork meat into prosciutti, guanciali (pork cheek), capocolli, pancetta, coppa (“head cheese”) andcotechino (a gelatinous pork sausages traditionally eaten in lentil soup at New Year’s).
….and a cheese with shaved black truffles
Bread, pizza, focacce and other baked goods are there, too;
As we gathered up our purchases and headed out, I chuckled to see the bulbous salami hanging over the counter top: coglioni del mulo, ubiquitous in every norcineria. Translation? Not from me. (But you can look it up…..)
Read about the curious fame of Preci – and SEE it prior to the earthquake
Click here for news on our favorite restaurant near Preci
Click here to read about Preci’s earthquake damage
Read about a favorite norcineria of Norcia
Click here for more on the famous Castelluccio di Norcia lentils
Read about an earthquake restoration project of Pino in Todiano near Preci