Manteca*

Manteca is a traditional food product from the Campania region of Italy. It is a type of lard that is made from the fat of pigs that have been raised in the region. Manteca is a key ingredient in many traditional dishes from the area, including pasta dishes, soups, and stews. It is also used as a spread on bread and as a cooking fat.

Manteca is produced in several towns and communes in the Campania region, including Sorrento, Vico Equense, and Agerola. The production process involves rendering the fat from the pigs and then refining it to remove impurities. The resulting lard is then seasoned with herbs and spices to give it a unique flavor.

One popular recipe that uses manteca is pasta e fagioli, a hearty soup made with pasta and beans. Another traditional dish that features manteca is pollo alla cacciatora, a chicken stew that is flavored with garlic, rosemary, and other herbs.

Manteca has been recognized as a PAT (Traditional Agri-Food Product) by the Italian government. This designation is given to food products that are produced using traditional methods and have a unique cultural significance. To be recognized as a PAT, a product must meet certain specifications and be produced in a specific geographic area.

Sources:
– “Manteca di Sorrento” (Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies)
– “Manteca di Sorrento” (Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity)