I have just been with Massimo, it is off season and he has more free time, although he is almost always on the road. His culatello has a delicate, sweet flavor, especially when sliced paper-thin, which is the best way to enjoy it.
Massimo’s culatello can be found on the menus of Italy’s top chefs and on the tables of royalty including the Royal family of England. Massimo ages hams for Prince of Monaco an exclusive room full of the Prince’s hams.
In his dinning room, he points to a painting where he is learning pasta making at an early age of 8. He reminds me how important it is for my children to learn pasta fresca, as he teaches them his skill.
His family are salumi makers, and his great-grandfather made culatello for Giuseppe Verdi. Massimo prepares his culatelli using an ancient breed of pig and prepares and ages the hams from 15 to 36 months in his 700-year-old cellar. The cellar has a sweet smell, and once you enter it, you smell the purity of the air and the freshness and brisk temperatures.
The last time we were there A. Bourdain shows up, unexpected and films an episode for his show. It just goes to show that the good places are often discovered by the good research of American Television.
The meat pictured above is a fresh culatello tied for the show and carried away for aging in the cellar – come back in 36 months.