Lonza comes from the boneless loin of the pig. Elsewhere in Italy, Lonza is given various names, depending on the region. In Sardegna, for example, it is called mustela.
The first step to curing any type of meat is to start with a quality product. At Babbo, we get our pigs from Heritage Foods. Their Berkshire pork is raised by Doug Metzger, who has raised the breed since 1954. Once fully grown, its meat is heavily marbled and darker than other breeds. This results in a rich and flavorful meat that, once cured, is even tastier!
To make lonza, the loin is massaged with salt and allowed to cure in a cold room for a period of 21 days. After this time, the loin is tied with butcher twine and hung for a dry period of 60 to 90 days. Once fully cured, the slightly salty and crisp flavor of lonza is achieved. Completely lean, you must slice lonza paper thin and use a generous dose of extra virgin olive oil in order to fully bring out its rich flavor.
In Italy, Lonza is commonly served in the spring. It’s the first cured meat from the slaughter of the pigs in the late fall and early winter. In Italy, serving lonza with Pecorino and fresh raw fava beans is a classic dish that signifies the coming of spring. But here in New York, since were still in the thick of winter, we’ve paired the lonza with cardoons, whose bittersweet flavor compliments the meat and cheese quite well.