Pork what goodness: charcuterie and unique flavors in Val d’Orcia never lacks

Are you in the mood for a great charcuterie board? Then you are in the right place.

Sausages spread on a slice of bread or freshly barbecued, salami and capocolli, flavorful hams, as well as buristo and soppressata, two cured meats that are less well known today but have a strong, traditional flavor. And then a delicacy not to be missed: the delicious livers.

In short, the old saying “of the pig, nothing is thrown away” is as apt as ever. And if you find yourself at one of the many establishments in San Quirico and Bagno Vignoni for a snack or dinner, the pork and pork sausage dishes can never be missed.

In addition to the more common pig breeds (such as Large White), in Val d’Orcia, we find the Cinta Senese, the native breed of this area.

What was practically an extinct breed only a few decades ago has instead been rescued and revived thanks to investments by public agencies and Sienese breeders, through the purchase and maintenance of breeding boars, in order to reach a sufficient number of animals to remove the Cinta Senese From the endangered species list.

It has spread because of its hardiness, rusticity and easy adaptability to breeding in the wild and semi-wild state in the forest or in grassy expanses used for grazing, from which it derives part of its sustenance by feeding on the fruits of the forest, grass and cereals. This animal lives well in this area precisely because of the type of pastures and forests present.

It is from these territorial peculiarities that derive its unique characteristics, related to the type of feeding and the resulting special taste of the meat: for these reasons it has become the subject of PDO protection. In fact, at the European level, in March 2012, the Cinta Senese denomination-reserved exclusively for pork from animals born, raised and slaughtered in Tuscany according to tradition-was awarded the “protected designation of origin” label for animals derived from the mating of animals registered in the Cinta Senese registry and herdbook of the Cinta Senese genetic type.