J is for Jellied Pork:
Jellied pork, or gelatina di maiale, has a strong Irpinian heritage, specifically in the Upper Valley of the Calore River. In the local dialect it is Ilatina ‘r puorcu. Jellied pork was, at a time when the majority of Italy’s population did not have access to abundant food like today, a way to reap nutrition from almost every part of the pig. This included the feet, head and tail, which were used as the main ingredients in preparing jellied pork. After the pig has been cooked and the choice hunks of meat consumed, jellied pork was – and still is – the ultimate leftover recipe.
The head, tail and feet are cut up and left to sit in water for a day before being boiled with bay leaves. Once the meat detaches from the bone, it is removed and cut up further. The fat is skimmed from the cooking broth, which is next boiled with herbs and then left to sit in its serving dish to solidify (caused by the natural collagen). Traditional recipes call for salt, vinegar, spicy pepperoncino, and more bay leaves; the addition of wine (Fiano di Avellino is best); pine nuts and raisins or grapes; and lemon juice and rind. An unexpected addition, often a secret ingredient, is cocoa powder. The gelatin is served with other meats, or can be canned and eaten at a later time. It is also refreshing when served chilled on a hot summer day paired with fresh tomatoes and olive oil, boiled tomatoes and vinegar, on a salad, or with virtually any vegetable.
To say that jellied pork is traditionally of Campania would be both accurate and inaccurate. To use the leftover parts so as to waste nothing is truly a universal concept. And, employing the use of collagen in creating satisfying and flavorful dishes has been discovered in many countries. To name but a few, jellied pork has variations in Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Ireland, Scandinavia, and Switzerland.
Agriturismo Tenuta Montelaura
Via Due Principati 101
Contrada Pozzelle, Forino (AV)
+39 082 576 2500
Osteria del Maiale Pezzato
Via C.Coccio 2 | 12060 SINIO (CN)
+39 017 326 3845
Via Martiri Ungheresi, 12
97012 Chiaramonte Gulfi (RG)
+39 093 292 8019
J is for Janare Azienda Agricola:
To understand what the Janare Azienda Agricola encompasses and what it portrays, a bit of background knowledge must be explained: first, La Cooperativa Agricola La Guardiensa; and second, Southern Italy’s Old Religion tradition with witchcraft. La Cooperativa Agricola La Guardiense, or the Farming Cooperative of the Guardiense, was founded in 1960 with the membership of 33 vineyards of Benevento. Today, it has over 1000 members in the area, encompassing about 2000 hectares of hilly countryside in Guardia Sanframondi, San Lorenzo Maggiore, San Lupo and Castelvenere. La Guardiensa distributes nationally and internationally and is one of Italy’s biggest cooperations and distributors of wine. It has become a symbol of quality, progress and economical success while still respecting traditional production methods.
In 2000, Janare Azienda Agricola was formed within La Guardiensa for the benefit, protection and promotion of Benevento’s DOC grapes and wines. Janare produces and sells two lines of DOC wine: Cru and Selezione. They include Falanghina, Aglianico, Greco di Tufo, Fiano, and Piedirosso.
The name Janare is the key to this winery’s identification with an age-old religion in Benevento. It has no translation in English. Suffice it to say that its history is detailed, long and fascinating, and only touched upon in this post (some informative links in English and Italian are among the sources).
La Vecchia Religione, or the Old Religion, was formed around the beliefs of Italic inhabitants, later refined by the Etruscans in 1000 BC, and further evolved in Italian culture in the late 1300s. At this time, three sects called the Triad Traditions were formed, the Fanara, Tanarra, and Janarra. They occupied northern, central, and central-southern Italy, respectively. Janarra was and remains today a religion that practices a form of witchcraft. The name Janarra itself derives from the literally two-faced god whom they worshipped, known as Janus, Ianus, and Giano, among other variations (this is the god after which January is named). The two faces look in opposite directions, making this god a symbol of gates, portals, endings and beginnings. While researching why Janare Azienda Agricola chose this tradition after which to name itself, I found a very simple suggestion. As age-old passions and traditions may coalesce to bear a cult, so Janare Azienda Agricola was born from the passions and strong traditions in the ancient art of wine-making in the people of Benevento.
Vineyard Adventures is happy to arrange tours to discover the DOC wines of Ischia.
Arrosto di Maiale in Gelatina. The Italian Taste.
Cimmino, Fabbio. La Guardiense: Progetto Janare. 12 Feb 2004. Wine Report.
Gelatina di Maiale. Regione Campania – Assessorato all’Agricoltura.
Gelatine Pig Laurel. Agriturismo Tenuta Montelaura.
Grimassi, Raven. Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft. 2000. Google eBooks.
Janare Colle di Tilio 2010: La Guardiense. Everywine.
Keeley, Janeson. The Janic Tradition. Suite 101. 14 May 2001.
The Triad Traditions. Oocities.org.