Cinta Senese DOP is a peculiar breed of swine native of Tuscany: its name is derived from the characteristic white band in the front half of the body, contrasting the black coat.
It is a very ancient breed which it portrayed in many pictures, showing that animals very similar the ones we have today have been bred since the Middle Ages.
It has been the most important strain bred in Tuscany until the 1950s, but it was gradually substituted by more profitable strains, more versed for intensive breeding. Luckily, in recent years, the trend has reversed and the importance of quality has been rediscovered, thus saving this breed from extinction and creating a rich economy around it. Cinta Senese can be only bred in the wild or in semi-free range, so it feeds on roots, tubers, truffles and acorns: this is the secret behind its goodness, a typical taste rich with nuts and undergrowth scents.
Not only is this swine particularly tasty, it is also very good from a nutritional point of view, with a saturated fat percentage lower than "normal" swine".tu
Only very high quality meat comes from Cinta Senese swines. They are redder than others, and are often grilled, but they are also much appreciated as basis for typical traditional cold cuts such as prosciutto toscano, sausages, lard, pancetta or rigatino, capocollo, soppressata and finocchiona.