There’s a tangible sense of foreboding in our house at the moment as we anticipate the end of all the lovely weather we’ve had and this cold rain setting in for the next 6 months. In Italy too suppliers are lamenting ‘il cambiamento del tempo’ (the change of seasons) that brings with it coughs and colds.
But there are, as I keep having to tell myself, still plenty of things to look forward to over the winter and one of them arrived this week: cotechino from Carlo Pieri in Tuscany. Not a lot of it but enough for Elliott and I to do some ‘quality control’ yesterday. Carlo’s cotechino is rich with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, red wine and a high percentage of ‘cotenna’ or ‘cotica’ (the pork rind) which gives it a texture quite unlike any of those ubiquitous, foil wrapped sausages that are sold as cotechino elsewhere. In the past the rind would have made up 50% of the ingredients but our changing eating habits mean that industrial cotechino will contain very little rind at all. Carlo’s cotechino is 30% rind. In Italy it is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve: only the cold of midwinter would make you want to eat a meal of sausage, lentils and mash. Is there really any point in waiting until then? No, so let the rain keep falling– the weather is perfect.
We sell a selection of Tuscan products through our online shop.