Viewpoint: Culatello DOP, Tuscany

Mauro Staccioli is an artist who likes to connect himself to the landscape – a trip to Volterra in Tuscany will introduce you to some of his remarkable works


By Royal Appointment. Question: What links a world renowned fashion designer (Armani) with a Prince (Charles)? Answer: A little bum or, put another way, Culatello DOP.  Culatello is rightly considered by many Italians the most precious of cured meats and arguably none more so than that produced by Massimo Spigaroli. At the Antica Corte Pallavicina, on the damp, foggy banks of the river Po in Polesine Parmense, Massimo has dedicated his life to the task. Massimo, needless to say, loves his pigs. Whilst other children dreamed of princesses and castles, all Massimo’s fairytales were about pigs or pig keepers. His dream was to produce the perfect culatello. He spent 10 years on his quest, searching for the right breeds. The fact that they take longer to rear, need four times as much breathing room, insist on soft straw beds and love lots of mud, didn’t deter Massimo for a second. He was on a mission. The result, a King of Hams truly fit for a fashionable.