Cinta senese ham –typical product from Toscany

The presence of the Cinta Senese breed of pig in Tuscany since at least the 14 C is demonstrated unmistakably in several old paintings, including the 14 C fresco called “Effetti del Buongoverno” and painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in the Palazzo Comunale of Siena.The Cinta Senese is the only Tuscan native swine breed to survive extinction. The snout is long and the animal has black hair and a white band from which its name is derived. The pigs grow free in the forests eating grass and acorns. The very low fat is not separate from the lean, and it provides flavour and taste. In the 1980s, due to the changes in agricultural system, the breed suffered a severe numerical reduction. Today there are about 200 sows in 80 herds. Most of the herds have been started for breeding less then 10 years ago, often as a hobby or in connection with agritourism, but increasingly for production of lard, salami, prosciutto etc.