At the end of our walk around Furci, we were introduced to Salumeria Ventricine Racciatti, owned and run by Sandro Racciatti and his mum. Sandro had a spell as chef in London but missed home and the infinitely better quality of life. I was impressed both by the salume he and his team make – and the amiable, industrious atmosphere in which they do it. When we appeared a free range pig was being hand butchered to the music of Louis Armstrong.
Ventricina was a first for me: it’s made with chunky bits of prime muscle like loin, fillet and bacon, mixed up with home produced paprika or peperoncino (sweet or chilli), wild fennel, salt and pepper. It is then wrapped with a stomach caul, dried for a couple of months before being dunked in lard and aged some more. The ageing takes place at his granny’s old house in the countryside which gives optimal moulds and drying conditions. Unfortunately this also means Sandra cannot export (outside Italy) as EU regulations specify all these processes should happen in the same premises. To conform would be hugely expensive and the salami wouldn’t taste as good at the end of it, so Sandro’s view naturally enough is ‘why bother’.
The ventricina is delicious: moist, spicy and not at all fat. I love the rusty flavour of peperoncino. If you love salami, you’ll want to make the pilgrimage to buy some, or at the very least get Sandro to post you a selection.
He also makes fresh sausages, salami, prosciutto, pancetta, capocollo …a good range in other words.