The Falorni family name has been a constant presence in the Tuscan hills around Greve in Chianti since the 16th Century, and with it comes the automatic association of some of the region’s most famous delicacies: prosciutto, salami and pancetta. Today, the surname has combined forces with an eighth-generation member of the Bencità family, but the legendary butcher shop, the Antica Macelleria Falorni, still sells the prized Chianina beef—as well as other Italian breeds—alongside the cured meat products and salamis that have made the place world famous among global gourmands.
Fine Dining Lovers spoke with Lorenzo, one of the store’s owners, about his recipe for century-long success.
What’s the secret behind your cured meat products?
These are exclusive products still made according to a tradition rooted in past centuries, recipes that my brother Stefano and I learned as children when our father would bring us to the nearby factories where the meat was butchered and prepared. We raise our own pigs, using only the best regional breeds and then we add secret recipes for flavor like Classic Chianti wine and aromatic herbs, which are found in abundance in this region.
What do you consider your specialties?
Alongside the meat, we are known for our prosciutto, all kinds of salami and the special “finocchiona” (salami seasoned with wild fennel): we have about forty products in all. We also make pancetta, which is called “rigatino” here, guanciale (a specialty made from the inside of the pork’s cheek), salame nobile and salami made from wild boar. The surrounding woods and hills are populated with boar who roam the valleys and even down to the sea. We can’t butcher them, but we have friends who raise boar, so we get our meat from them.
What about opening a restaurant?
Next door to our butchery and meat store there’s a tasting shop for our products, where we also sell wines from the Greve cellars as well as the best Tuscan wines, including the great Sassicaia wine. We’ve always organized tastings, now along with wines, but we’re not planning on opening a restaurant. Restaurants are the ones that buy our products, and we don’t want to compete with them. But we do sell dishes that are ready to be cooked at home, like boiled meat meatballs, which are really popular—it’s an old recipe from my grandmother.
What kind of clients do you have?
We’re located right in the middle of “Chiantishire” so our customers are executives, bankers, writers and journalists from America and Europe who come here and remodel old farmhouses and estates. Many of our clients are guests in nearby hotels and agriturismi, who perhaps are here for longer stays and come here to do their shopping.
In the ‘90s, when the foreign presence here in Chianti began to increase, lots of films started getting filmed here. The golden age was when “Much to do About Nothing” was filmed, directed by Kenneth Branaugh, with Denzel Washington and Emma Thompson. Kenneth and the cast and crew were always here, in the little room next to the butcher shop, eating prosciutto and drinking good wine. We Falornis butcher Sting's meat, he breeds Cinta pigs, but has us butcher them and make them into salami according to our recipe.
Our children and grandchildren are working to create a format that replicates our little wine shop with tasting plates of our cured meats. We use the Enomatic technique—the first system that can preserve open bottles for up to 4 weeks and serve it under optimal conditions. This allows all clients to taste even just a single glass from any bottle.