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ciccioli

pork crackling or terrine, or lard bread

Literally 'little fatties', the word covers a wide range of pork specialities. In Emilia, ciccioli or ciccioli frolli are chips of fat and meat fried crisp. But in the same region (and in Naples, where they're called cicoli or cigoli), it can be a terrine made of fat and shoulder meat. Often this is pressed to squeeze out excess moisture; then it can be sliced and fried.

Around Italy, little fatties may be called grasi, cigoli, frittule, sfrizzoli, cicines, or dozens of other names.

It can also mean a bread or ciabatta made with bits of ciccioli in the dough, popular in Emilia, the Molise—and in Brooklyn, where it may be called 'lard bread'. In many places ciccioli find a home on pizzas.

On the second weekend of December in Campagnola Emilia they hold the Cicciolo D'Oro, or Golden Crackling Festival, full of crispy porky delights and lots of wine too.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Giorgio Minguzzi