This unusual blood sausage is made using the lean pig’s head, giving it a soft consistency. After boiling the head for three hours, it is deboned and mixed with a little blood, salt, pepper and spices: primarily wild fennel, but also nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. The mixture is then packed into casings. Before being consumed, the Biroldo must be boiled for another three hours and then cooled slowly in the open air, pressed under a weight so that some of the fat drips out. The sausage is eaten sliced, often accompanied by the typical Garfagnana chestnut bread or potato bread.
80 images documenting the process of making Biroldo at the L’Antica Norcineria di Rolando Bellandi in Ghivizzano can be seen here WARNING – some of these images may be distressing for people of a nervous disposition.
In Garfagnana, the elderly don’t even want to hear the name Biroldo, which for them represents the poor food eaten during the hard times of the past. More recent generations, however, have rediscovered the unusually flavoured sausage, and local butchers have started making it again, despite its complex manual preparation. The Slow Food Presidium has joined together in an association the few remaining producers and is helping them to promote this ancient cured meat to a wider market.
Il biroldo della Garfagnana è un salume dalle origini molto antiche, il cui nome sembrerebbe derivare dall’epoca longobarda. In questi luoghi l’allevamento dei maiali ha tradizioni remote e il biroldo veniva confezionato con le parti meno nobili del maiale, come la testa, il cuore e la lingua, che venivano tagliate e bollite, conciate con sale e spezie amalgamate con il sangue del maiale. Infine il tutto veniva insaccato nella vescica o nello stomaco e quindi nuovamente bollito.
Elso Bellandi talking about BIROLDO
L’Antica Norcineria di Rolando Bellandi
Coreglia Antelminelli (Lu)
Via Rinascimento, 6
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painter and photographer - started barganews.com, the first on line news site in Tuscany, Italy back in 1996