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Testa di Maiale and Other Florentine Treats

Guest post sent by Alban from Florence | Published : 07/Jan/2008 02:15

Testa di Maiale
Pig’s head, anyone? I might have had it and so have you, in all likelihood. It’s just a way to make salami or any other kind of sausage. Usually, to make a salami, you take an intestine, fill it with ground up pig parts, and there you have it! In this case, however, you’ll start with an emptied head (eyes and mouth sewn shut, by hand) and get it filled with the ground stuff from the rest of the body.

This particular beauty was spotted at a grocery (La Standa, via Pietrapiana, 42, near Piazza Cesare Beccaria).


A store employee noticed me taking a photo and thinking I didn’t understand Italian, commented to another customer saying something to the effect of “Those tourists will really take a picture of anything!”. I beg to differ! Outside of Italy and maybe France, how often do you get to a grocery store and discover a mutilated pig’s head waiting for you, ready for consumption?

By the way, right next to this store there’s a small fresh market and a few decent restaurants. In general, that neighborhood of Florence is excellent for shopping, because you can find almost everything you would need: a movie rental, an Internet café, a wine store, a couple of pubs, and as I already mentioned, a grocery store (La Standa) and a fresh market. Besides all that, one of the most famous restaurants in Florence, La Giostra, is nearby. The latter is run by two offspring of the royal Hapsburg family. They (the restaurant, not the family) serve the best donkey mortadella in town.

Just to finish with our list, the Duomo is, like, five minutes from there, too. I’d say the area is sufficiently close to everything important yet slightly removed from the crowds, filth and ridiculous prices of the city center.

La Standa
Via Pietrapiana, 42
Florence, Italy