Anne's Blog

In Marino’s Cellar, Far More Than Prosciutto

Date: March 17, 2022 - categories: , , , , , , , - Leave your thoughts

While rural neighbor Chiarina was making her homemade pasta recently,……

….her husband Marino took me over to their improvised “cantina” (wine cellar) in a converted garage near their farmhouse:

Inside, guanciali (pork cheek), capocolli and lonza (meat cuts both made from the back of the pig) dangled over their wine casks and olive oil containers:

Marino looked up at his dangling pork products with evident pride:

With a grin, Marino filled a plastic bottle with wine for Pino:  “I always keep a couple bottles on hand….for giving wine to our friends,” he said.  

Wine for our lunch was already in their kitchen.

Tucked in a corner near the wine casks were crates of potatoes harvested last summer, some still remaining for family use and others, sprouted and soon to be planted:

On shelves above, jars and bottles of their tomato purée (for the pasta sauce Chiarina was making) were lined up. Chiarina and Marino put up about 200 jars per year.

Marino showed me that they had put up both puréed tomatoes for sauce and jars of tomato pieces  for the making of pizza and other dishes:

Last year’s prosciutto in a cutting rack sat on the table just below the tomatoes.   Marino told me, “Noi ormai consumiamo poco il prosciutto,” (“we don’t eat a lot of prosciutto any longer..”) and hence their reason for turning the pork meat this year into lonze and capocolli:

Marino sliced the prosciutto for me …..

….and tried a slice or two himself, saying with evident pleasure, “…ma e’ veramente buono”  (“…but it’s really quite good..”)

It certainly was Marino.


Read about – and see! – Marino’s wife, Chiarina as she cooks up Umbria goodness




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