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a stew made of veal cheek, muzzle, ears and tail

Nothing went to waste in Pescia in the province of Pistoia, a town famous into the 20th century for the quality of its tanneries (conceria). These were locally known as cioncia—a name recalled in Pistoia's little Romanesque church, San Michele in Cioncio. The skins of the calves would often arrive with the head and tail still attached, which the tanners took home for dinner. The meat is slowly stewed with passato di pomodoro, onions, celery, carrots, basil, parsely, broth, red wine and olive oil, with ginger added at the end, and served piping hot.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Alerico, Public Domain