No visit to the Chianti region in Tuscany would be complete without a visit to Panzano in Chianti at what may be considered as one of the most famous butcher shops in the world.
Dario Cecchini, butcher of the Antica Macelleria Cecchini needs no introduction. He rose to fame during of the mad cow disease crisis when eating a ‘bistecca fiorentina’ or t-bone steak was prohibited for health scare reasons. He organised a funeral for the bistecca fiorentina and a plaque still commemorates the ceremony (see photo below).
He has been mentioned in books such as Heat by Bill Buford and has been featured in most of the world’s top newspapers and magazines over the past years.
This 59-year-old legendary Italian butcher has literally made Panzano in Chianti a tourist attraction in its own right. While the hill-top village is attractive and located on a high ridge on the scenic Via Chiantigiana, many would probably not stop unless to take pictures of the beautiful scenery had Cecchini not put it on the world gastronomic map.
The family have been in the butchery business for eight generations and Dario tries to maintain the high values in his work while following the family’s traditions.
And while nose to tail cooking (and butchery) is in vogue today, he has been practicing nose to tail butchery for the past forty years.
‘Having respect of the animal, of its life, of its death and using everything to the very last tendon is what I have been doing every day for the past 40 years,” he says.
“The MAD BUTCHER of PANZANO’
Mr. Dario Cecchini
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