Tucked away in the hills of Alta Maremma, Salumificio Silvano Mori not only supplies the Borgo kitchen but is also sought by European royalty.
When queried whether it is in fact true that his family-run artisan salumificio delivers to the Queen of England, Silvano Mori replies matter-of-factly, “And the queens of Denmark and Sweden”.
Now in the hands of its fourth generation, it’s little wonder that this modestly sized cured pork factory with eight staff members has attracted such an elite clientele, despite being tucked away in a medieval borgo in Alta Maremma. Racks of freshly made sausages destined for Sweden hang beside a long metal bench where Mori and his team are busily filling more with a richly scented mixture of pork and mushroom. The place is scrupulously clean and filled with light, with rooms opening off on all sides to reveal boar sausages undergoing a 10-day drying process, various types of salami aged from 40 days to two-and-a-half months neatly hung according to purchase orders, and legs of prosciutto enveloped in the heady scent of black pepper.
Salumificio Silvano Mori produces all types of traditional Tuscan salami, and although the facilities are cutting-edge, production here is strictly artisan. Each leg of prosciutto is tattooed with the pig’s own ‘identity card’; codes that indicate when it was born, and where and by whom it was raised; how old it was when butchered, and even the date that it was salted. The result speaks for itself; Mori picks up a cut of wrapped prosciutto and indicates its rich and uniform rose-pink hue, which shows that the meat has been aged properly.
“When the ageing process has been hurried, as you often find with supermarket varieties, the prosciutto has three distinct colour tones instead”, Mori says. Sausage meat is likewise given the same level of care: before being minced the pork is passed through a machine that strips it of stringy nerves and tough rind, creating sausages that melt in the mouth without leaving a trace of residue.
Nearby Mori’s daughter Valentina is preparing the filling for sausages made with white Alba truffles, a recipe, Mori says, that took two years to perfect. As the team wipes down the working surfaces and sweeps the floor before switching production, he also points out the details in place to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination, such as a separate salt and pepper station where the meat is seasoned away from the main production area. The salumificio in fact often exceeds the rigorous hygiene inspections carried out by the authorities.
Salumificio Mori produces its goods to custom order only, and even then it generates an average of 70,000kg every four months, sending its wares throughout Europe (via Borgo Santo Pietro, of course) and over to Britain, where it supplies Harrods and maintains relationships with clients that have lasted 35 years. Which begs the question: which of its products appeals most to the royal tastebuds? Mori concedes that the truffle salami and another made with DOCG Morellino di Scansano wine are big hits. After decades on the job, does he ever lose his appetite for cured pork? Mori laughs.
“When it’s this good”, he says, “you never get tired of eating it.”