An Umbria January

Prosciutto, pancetta, salami, salsicce, coppa, barbozza. The names unite in an enticing rhythm, so appealing to your ear. Even if you are a vegetarian. 

Recently, I dropped in at the house of my Umbrian rural neighbors Peppe and Gentile. I found their daughter Paola and her husband Leandro, a norcino (pork butcher), putting finishing touches on many of these items. “Gifts” from the two pigs 88-year-old Peppe had raised and Leandro had butchered two days prior.

Traditionally in Umbria, the butchering of the pig takes place after the feast day of Sant’Andrea (November 30) and before the feast of the patron saint of animals, St. Anthony Abbot (January 17).

On the late 13th century fountain in Perugia’s main square, the month of December is represented in two sculpted panels depicting the pig slaughter and


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