“For many visitors to Tuscany, their first taste of Dante’s verses came with their first taste of bistecca alla Fiorentina, crowded around the boisterous restaurant tables of local butcher Dario Cecchini. In Panzano in Chianti, surrounded by art and memory, Dario recites Dante by heart, towering over the modest shop display of carefully chosen cuts. There is a verse for every moment, from love to crisis, and the energy that comes with a celebration of life.” [. . .] –Marisa Garreffa, The Florentine, March 24, 2021.
“A bite of Tuscan prosciutto is all you need to understand salt-free Tuscan bread, the stuff that Dante so deeply missed when he was in exile. Prosciutto Toscano is saltier and a bit spicier than prosciutto from Parma or San Daniele, so saltless bread is an excellent foil. And now you can see for yourself. After years of due diligence to comply with Department of Agriculture rules, the hams are being imported into the United States for the first time. They are different from other hams because of the somewhat smaller size of the pigs, which also have less fat, and the seasoning used in curing, which involves pepper and juniper as well as salt. ‘The texture is also drier than the others,’ said Cesare Casella, the Tuscan chef who is selling the ham in his shops. ‘It’s more like Spanish serrano ham’: $28 a pound at Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. Also at Eataly and Fairway.” –Florence Fabricant, The New York Times, February 26, 2013
Dante Fried Chicken, Los Angeles
Dante’s Inferno Dogs, Seattle, Washington
“. . .The roots of the butcher as an icon of cool might be found in the writings of Bill Buford, who fashioned an operatic meat hero out of Dario Cecchini, a towering, Dante-spouting butcher from the Chianti countryside. Mr. Buford immortalized him in an article for The New Yorker and in his book ‘Heat.'” [. . .] –Kim Severson, The New York Times, July 7, 2009.
See also: Buford’s book, “Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany” and his 2006 article “Carnal Knowledge: How I Became a Tuscan Butcher” in The New Yorker.