Lonzino is probably one of the simplest types of cured pork, but it is still a delicious one. It is pork loin which has been cured and air dried. It is a basic recipe, but the simplicity of the process means that the ingredients of the cure have been adapted in some parts of Italy to reflect the tastes in the local area, and the herbs and spices available to them.
Our lonzino is made high in the mountains of Reggio Emilia and the ingredients are salt, pepper and their secret mix of aromatic herbs and spices.
This lonzino is dried for 80 days, which is quite a long time. This allows the time for the flavours to really develop, but it needs to be very carefully managed—it is not just a case of leaving it hanging in an airy barn and coming back in three months’ time.
Lonzino has a delicate but unmistakable, slightly spicy aroma, and a soft, savoury taste with a slight tang at the end. It is a bit pinker in colour than some cured meats and it has a thin layer of fat on the outer part. Whatever you do, don’t take this off—it really adds to the experience when you eat it. It has a lovely tender texture and because it is made from the loin of pork, it is a very lean product, which is what makes that layer of fat important.