Where does finocchiona come from? Tuscany…specifically the town of Prato!. Legend has it that finocchiona owes its origins to a thief at a fair near the town of Prato, who stole a fresh salami and hid it in a stand of wild fennel. When he returned for it, he found it had absorbed the aromas of its hiding place. There are two varieties of finocchiona, sbriciolona, which is very fresh, and something of an acquired taste, akin to fresh sausage, and finocchiona proper, which is firmer, and is what you’re more than likely to find in your local deli.
What comprises finocchiona? Well, fennel we’ve already mentioned (finocchio means ‘fennel’), but it also has been made with peppercorns, garlic, and 4 year-old Chianti (which ensures that it’s a Tuscan Salame).
Finocchiona is a wonderfully full spiced meat. The Chianti within it is apparent, and the fennel gives it that little zing that I like in all of my cured meats. It would make a great antipasti and it’s best sliced not too thinly, served with saltless Tuscan bread.
Pieces of lean meat from the shoulder of the pig (50%) and the hard fat of the bacon (50%) are milled medium grain and seasoned with salt and herbs. It is encased in natural casings, usually bondeana with a ligature tight and narrow.
a) Raw material: pieces of meat and fat pork (shoulder, ham trimmings, pillow) pig reared in the area.
b) Technological: salt, pepper and whole fennel seeds, garlic, wine.
c) Additives in industrial production is only put saltpeter in the percentage permitted by law.
A week in a heated, with air vents that should be changed several times during the day.
Five months later under the weight dell’insaccato, basement or other suitable place.
This sausage is done today in Tuscany, but the best are those in the area of origin of the tradition, the Chianti, in the district of Florence.
Source: Atlas of typical Italian products, Insor, 1989-1995