Tuscan rigatino: beyond simple pancetta

Tuscan rigatino

Also called pancetta, it is a typical salami of the Tuscan countryside inserted between Traditional Agri-food Products Italians. In particular, it is a typical product of the Tuscan pork-butchery (province of Grosseto) that can be consumed throughout the year. The soft and delicious taste of the meat of pig blends with the tantalizing flavor of pepper, creating a unique combination that will delight your palate. When cut, the slice is presented in an alternation of layers of intense pink meat and layers of greedy pinkish white fat, a delight that will melt in your mouth. Let's find out more about this delicious product, which can be easily purchased online on our website.

What does it mean to be part of the PAT?

Modern agriculture, increasingly directed towards mechanization, requires extensions of flat land that are lacking in Italy. This is due both to the natural orographic configuration and to the forced anthropization of the territory. To react to this situation, the MiPAAF (Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies) has decided to focus clearly on niche sectors, enhancing traditional products in which agricultural or livestock products were processed according to ancient methods.

It therefore decided to include a series of products in a special list (the PAT), established with the collaboration of the Regions. The Ministry updates and publishes the list annually. It also has the task of promoting their knowledge nationally and abroad. In 2019 there are 5,128 PAT products in Italy, and the region that currently holds the largest number of PATs is Campania, with 531 registered specialties. The requirement to be recognized as PAT is to be "obtained with methods of processing, conservation and maturation consolidated over time, homogeneous for the entire territory concerned, according to traditional rules, for a period of not less than twenty-five years". However, products bearing the PDO or PGI brands cannot appear in the list.

rigatino toscano

Rigatino toscano: characteristics

Are you wondering where this particular name comes from? The rigatino is so called because in the middle of the fat mass you can see real streaks, or rather "lines", of lean. This is precisely because it is obtained from one side rather muscular of the belly of selected Italian pigs. And given the common Tuscan nature of nicknamed every person and thing, given its appearance, Tuscan pancetta has acquired the name of "rigatino".

It has a characteristic rectangular shape with a thickness of approx four centimeters with compactness and consistency and its transformation technique has remained practically unchanged compared to the original and very ancient one. With a color ranging from pinkish white to dark red, it expresses all the flavors and aromas characteristic of the region. Sweet, aromatic and tender, to savor all its qualities to the fullest, the rigatino goes very fine sliced. It has a shelf life of approx 60 days if kept in a cool place, at a temperature of + 8 ° / + 10 ° C.

Tuscan rigatino: the origin

It is a product of humble origin. It has in fact accompanied for centuries the breakfasts and snacks of the farmers in the field work. In the Maremma it is still prepared with old artisanal techniques. Today it is a fundamental element on the table, being part of many traditional Tuscan recipes. From the typical "Tuscan appetizer" to more complex dishes or as a filling for that myriad of Tuscan street foods, such as focaccette, Sgabei or Criscolette.

But, despite being part of a poor gastronomic tradition, recently the rigatino has been re-evaluated by many chef. They appear in numerous menus of starred restaurants, who appreciate the extreme versatility and the flavor very tasty without being too heavy. Its versatility makes it suitable for appetizers, first courses, main courses and tasty side dishes. At the bottom of the article you will find some ideas on how to use it in the kitchen!

Rigatino toscano: production

Our Tuscan rigatino, unlike the common pancetta, is obtained from the upper part of the pork. To be exact, between the lard (i.e. the back) and the actual bacon (the lower part). The preparation is done by dividing the meat from the rind, i.e. the pig's skin. Part of the rind, however, is left attached to one end in order to be able to cover the rigatino. The Tuscan rigatino is then seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, lemon and orange peel. A real Tuscan salting! Then, everything is rolled up, covered with rind and tied tightly with a string. There seasoning takes place in a cool, dry and hard place from 40 to 45 days, after which it is ready to be sliced and consumed.

It is precisely the combination of all these precautions that makes the Tuscan rigatino a real delicacy and that distinguishes it from the classic pancetta. You want to buy the Tuscan rigatino online? Click here.

Rigatino toscano: how to consume it

The first thing that comes to mind when talking about Tuscan rigatino is a nice dish of pasta alla bacon and egg. And in fact, although the traditional Roman recipe requires the use of bacon, even the Tuscan rigatino fits perfectly. We recommend adding a sprinkling of pecorino to better enhance the taste of the rigatino. Another typical dish in which the rigatino is the protagonist is the pasta alla Gricia: a variant of “cacio e pepe”.

Another classic is theTomato and bacon, whose original recipe also in this case would require the bacon. But we still advise you to try to prepare it with a little seasoned rigatino, you will see that you will not regret it! Better if you cut the Tuscan rigatino into pieces large enough to get a fuller flavor.

If very seasoned, the Tuscan rigatino is excellent to be enjoyed thinly sliced on Tuscan bread. Also on croutons accompanied by a slice of pecorino cheese heated in the oven it's delicious. If you are a fan of the English breakfast, there is no better way to start a day than with a Tuscan rigatino accompanied by scrambled eggs!

If instead you want to get away from the classics and impress with a refinery, this is the recipe for you. But don't worry, you don't need to be a star chef. It is a dish that is as instagrammable as it is easy to prepare. Cut the rigatino into thin slices and wrap it around the shrimp tails. Then place everything in a pan over high heat and brown until the rigatino is crisp. Deglaze with some Brandy and that's it!


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