You can never have too much knowledge about products, which is why today's blog item talks about Lardo di Colonnata.
Lardo di Colonnata is ripened pork lard from the pig's back. In the Netherlands, pork lard is used to line paté dishes, incorporated into sausages, or just thrown away. A special ripened version is produced in Colonnata, Italy.
How is it made? Layer upon layer of pork lard pieces are placed in a marble tub and each layer is liberally sprinkled with dry salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, and cinnamon. The lard is then left to ripen for between six months and two years. The marble causes the connective tissue to break down, making the lard even softer. The extent to which the lardo is ready is determined by sight. The salt ensures the moisture is extracted whilst also drawing in the flavours of the herbs and spices. By reducing the moisture content and increasing the amount of salt, the lardo can be kept for longer periods.
This pork lard comes from older pigs. Although muscle tissue in pigs becomes tougher with age, the reverse is true for pork lard, which becomes increasingly softer.
This lard is not intended to be used for larding as it melts too quickly. It goes extremely well with fish, as well as asparagus, cherries, and even chips!