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lardo/lardello

fatback

lardo

Not 'lard' as we know it, but the layer of fat found on the back and flanks, which is cured (think of bacon with no meat, just fat) and sometimes spiced and cured (lardo stagionato). It's best when a little pink, good enough to eat by itself on sandwiches, bruschette or on pasta, and is also used to flavour other dishes.

Lardo di Colonnata, from Carrara in northern Tuscany, is famous (cured in marble vats, and formerly an essential high-calorie part of a marble quarryman's diet) as is Lard d'Arnad from the Valle d'Aosta, made from pigs fed on chestnuts, grains and vegetables. Arnad is so proud of it that it hosts a lardo festival, the Féhta dou Lar, in the last week of August.

lardello: little bits of lardo, which become pork cracklings when fried.

lardellato: spread with or flavoured with lardo.

lardellature: barding, or the studding of food with pieces of lard to keep it moist

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Patrick Stahl