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Italian Ciccioli

Ciccioli are a food product obtained by processing pork fat in the preparation of lard.


The fat is cut into small pieces and cooked over a low heat so that the fat part melts and the water contained in it evaporates. When the pieces of fat have acquired a yellowish colour, they are poured into a dish towel, squeezed and finally flavoured with the addition of aromas, which can be cloves, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg or other, in varying doses and proportions depending on the butcher. Sometimes they are salted.

The casting part is the lard, the remaining solid part is the greaves. After pressing, the cracklings can be left in the mould or crumbled when hot. They can be stored for up to two months.

In Calabria, where the most commonly used name is "curcuci", the preparation is different. They are the remaining part in the boiling of the fried meat, i.e. all the parts of the pig not used for sausages or for dry lard, together with a part of the fat, i.e. the lard that liquefies in the aforementioned boiling.

Nutritional characteristicsEdit

Greaves are a supercaloric food that, in the peasant tradition, represented an excellent meal, in combination with polenta. Now they are mainly used to accompany aperitifs and appetizers. Crumbled, they make more tasty focaccia, bread, and poenta and osei. In particular in Irpinia is made a loaf of bread that in the dough contains precisely the cracklings, also known as pizza pe frittole or bread with cicole.