One of the more interesting products amongst the vast range of cured meats that exists throughout Italy. It is in fact cured pork fat taken from underneath the skin layer. In some cases it's made from the shoulder of pork, taken from a pig a very heavy and over 9 months old. Once the fat has been removed, it could be massaged at length and then placed in special containers (i.e. marble is used in Colonnata, a small village near Carrara, Tuscany), covered with salt, natural flavourings, spices and herbs, then left to cure for a few months. It's pale pink colour or white, with a very particular flavour thanks largely to the mixture of ingredients which the pigs are fed during rearing process: chestnuts, vegetables, flour and whey. It is usually served thinly sliced, sometimes flavoured with ground pepper, boiled chestnuts and with toasted bread or polenta (a typical dish of Northern Italy areas).
This is a product arrived in Italy from Central Europe, but now fully spread and appreciated in Italy too. Small in size,it is obtained by bagging a mixture of selected pork cuts. The color, exterior and interior, is usually pinkish, while the flavor of each variety can be customized by the addition of precise flavorings, such as red onion, salt, pepper, oregano and sometimes sugar. Eaten raw or cooked, it is quickly integrated into modern Italian cuisine.
Characteristic of Emilia Romagna are now spread a bit all over the country. Ciccioli are produced using the inventories of roasted lean and fat pork, which are fused to extract the lard. 'Ciccioli' are in fact produced using what remains of the lean and fat pork, melted lard to get. This mixture, which is obtained by filtering, is still hot fat, flavored and pressed before being left in flakes or in larger forms.