Thursday, July 28, 2011

Carrara Marble And Lard

The guide books warn travelers that from the freeway the mountains look as they are snow covered but the reality still comes as a surprise.

This rather odd statue at the entrance to Carrara reveals the truth. The riches of this land are in the marble.

Carrara Marble is what every prince and potentate wants in his palace.

And the closer you get the more you understand that these mountains have been mined since Roman times. We drove through Carrara to find our way closer up the ravaged hills to the actual mines.

We found here what we had looked for in so many other places, a simple meal with a decent view.

The lady offered lard but we wrinkled our noses and went for sandwiches of regular dried meat. They were indubitably delicious but the taster plate she gave us was intriguing.

The slivers of pork fat were delicious, slightly spicy and clean on the palate. She was right! Lard tastes better than salame or prosciutto. Who knew?

We did now. So much did we appreciate her local specialty the lady offered to show us the process of making palatable lard in vats made of marble, naturally.

The stuff sits in these vats for several months marinating in a pungent mixture of salt rosemary cinnamon and other spices

Apparently it will never make it to the US owing to USDA regulations too costly for small producers to meet. However this stuff is exported all over Europe.

To try it yourself drive through Carrara up the hill to Colonnata.

And there it sits....

The home to the other white marble.

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