Michelangelo’s Marble & the Best Lard Panini

This morning I was picked up by my driving guide who took me to Carrara to get an up close look at the marble quarries that support the town. Driving through Carrara you notice huge blocks of all kinds of stone which are shipped here from all continents to be cut by the machinery and specialists in this town which has been doing this for as long as it takes to be considered the best.

Finally it was time to climb the mountain of marble. We zigzagged our way up the mountain of white marble, as workers carried on with their business of pulling the marble out of the interior of the mountain. I was surprised at our access, as the trucks and machinery had to maneuver around us. Thankfully my Guide Gabriele understands the way to gain this special access….grease the operators with beer and wine of course. During our tour. I learned much more than I anticipated about marble, how it is the best stone for cutting with precision.

It was also interesting to learn how the town of Colonna became famous for its’ still reknown lard sandwiches. It was discovered that the best source of energy for the workers (slaves) was animal fat. This lard also generated a nice layer of extra fat on the slaves to help fight against the cold temperatures on the mountain in the Winter. The recipe for the lard is quite scientific, and involves layering pig shoulder, spices, and other ingredients in a huge tub of marble for no less than 6 months….aren’t you getting hungry just thinking about it? Somewhere Homer is murmuring, “mmmmmmm pig shoulder.”

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