I joined Heather Jarman’s group recently to visit the farm of Catia and Maurizio Citti in Lugliano. Giocondo has 20 hectares of land with chestnut trees, olive trees and various crops. The main attraction was their herd of Cinta Senese pigs.
Cinta Senese is an ancient breed of Tuscan pig. They have been raised in the area for centuries. After almost becoming extinct, the breed is now being bred again. Unlike normal pigs which are usually intensively bred, Cinta Senese are kept in large outdoor pens and fed a diet as close as possible to their preferred diet of acorns and food from the forest floor.
They are prized for their excellent flavour. Catia makes her own prosciutto, sausage and other pork products. Once you try salumi from Cinta Senese you will be spoiled forever.
As well as the pigs, there are cows and sheep bred for their milk to make cheese, and donkeys just for fun.
Catia also grows apples, pears, figs, strawberries, raspberries and chillies to make jams and preserves.
While Catia was preparing our delicious lunch I wandered around the forest on the property.
The views from the property are spectacular.
Lunch was prepared using only local products. First we had porcini mushrooms with polenta and pecorino cheese made by Catia.
Next was prosciutto, salami and a mature pecorino with onion jam and chillie jam, and crostini with lardo and sausage with stracchino.
Catia had also made a cake for us, which she served with a blueberry sauce.
Take a look at Giocondo’s website to see all the products they produce. I don’t know when they sleep.
Thank you Catia (right) and Heather for a fun day.