Today I wanted to tell you the history of the most amazing butcher shop in all of Tuscany. I had planned to tell you everything from when they started back in 1806 and how it has shaped the shop as it is today. As I was starting to write my way up, I reached 1975 and realized that this blog post would be longer than a rough year. So I decided to sHey Everyone!
Welcome to Hetty’s food talk Friday. Today I wanted to talk about a hidden pearl, a small butcher shop in the heart of Tuscany that yet is world known. Have you ever heard of The Antica Macelleria Falorni? if not I’m going to tell you all about it in this post.
Back in 2006, I spent three weeks in a small village in Tuscany. Greve in Chianti would turn out to have a larger impact on my life than I might have realized back then. In a way, it was a culinary dream. We booked an apartment at an old pasta factory that a wonderful family had turned into a small Apartment complex, it even had a pool for their guests to cool down in, in the summer heat. One would believe that this little village would be packed with tourists, but it wasn’t. The old pasta fabric had mostly Italian tourists. One middle-aged Italian man, I remember specifically well bought an apartment there for his family, and we would often bring his wife and kids but that time he was alone. When you live three weeks in a small family owned apartment complex in a small village in Italy you really get to know the people living there. You hear their life story, how people got there, where they’re from and what brought them to this very place. On top of that, there is so much history in the walls in such a place. Can you imagine how it must be like when the apartment complex you’re living at used to be an old pasta factory? People came to work there every day, worked hard to get food on their families table every night. Thinking about everything that building has brought to the village, and the people living there. It’s amazing to think about it.
A two-minute walk away from the pasta fabric now turned apartment complex was the town’s square or the Piazza as they call it. On that very square, there was and there still is a small butcher shop with the name The Antica Macelleria Falorni. I love this little butcher shop, they have the best most exquisite products I’ve ever seen, the people who work there are amazing, kind and helpful. If you are lucky you get to taste some of their Parma ham, the best Italian cheeses you could ever imagine and it’s better then best. I’m so lucky to have been to this little village let alone this amazing little butcher shop with the friendliest staff. Everyone in this village is friendly and welcoming and will welcome you into their lives with open arms. they are amazing, and I really love this little village and everything I got to experience when I was there.
Let’s dive into the history of The Antica Macelleria Falorni in Greve in Chianti. Let’s go back in time, let’s travel all the way back to the Falorni family Osteria in 1806. Lorenzo di Angelo Falorni owned an Osteria in the heart of the Chianti region. He converted the Osteria into a small butcher shop and expanded into two more butcher shops and one slaughterhouse. Lorenzo had a Grandson whom would show to have a great impact on the little village Greve in Chianti.
Giuseppe di Michele Falorni is a well-known name in Greve in Chianti, and will forever be remembered. Giuseppe was Lorenzo’s grandson, in 1844 he took his wife and young daughter and traveled to Greve and opened up a butcher shop in the family name on the very same premises that still home the little butcher shop today, the Antica Macelleria Falorni. Over the years the Falorni meat products are known all over the world for its quality and taste. The story doesn’t end there, in 1910 Lorenzo married the love of his life, the beautiful, energetic and dynamic Caterina Mori di Montefioralle. After Lorenzo’s death, she continued to run the little butcher shop on Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, in Greve in Chianti. She get’s good help from her beloved nephew Ulisse, and they begin to sell soaps and lamp oil that was made from pig fas alongside with their main business.
The year is 1930 and Ulisse purchases the butcher shop and residency from his wonderful Aunt Caterina. But that is not all, he also purchased other adjacent buildings which he would later use as rooms for preparation and processing rooms. After only a few years Ulisse builds up the family business to become the third largest butcher shop among the twelve situated in Greve and Panzano in Chianti. A part of me wonders how the village Greve was back in the day, how alike yet how different it is today. How many of the families living there today was living here back then? I’m sure they have their stories to tell.
As you can imagine the story of The Antica Macelleria Falorni does not end quite yet. This time we’re only jumping 10 years forward. The year is 1940 and Ulisse’s daughter Venturina is the one to inherit the family business. She logically runs it with her husband Raffaello Bencistà. As can be expected most of their customers are local people living in the village of Greve in Chianti. They provide pork processing services to the whole area’s farmers and smallholdings, which is great for business. Raffaello has a good eye for business strongly wants to increase sales. He naturally decides to use all of his focus on to their most emblematic product that is easy to store and perfect as a gift — Cured meat. Even today you can see cured meat hanging from the ceiling in the small butcher shop.
In the middle of 1940’s Venturina give birth to two little boys, one that she chooses to name after her grandfather Lorenzo, the other boy is name Stefano. The two new Falorni boys spend a lot of time in the butcher shop from a very early age and often accompany Raffaello to locals farms even before taking their first steps. The family business is a big part of the Falorni family, in it’s therefore important to involve the kids as soon as possible. The mid 40’s to the 50’s where what they call the economic boom years in Italy. Everything changed, the meat and the charcuterie were becoming less of a “special holiday treat” and as a result, their customers increased and their production had to adjust to meet the new needs of the local Italian families of the village.
During the 60’s and the 70’s, the Chianti region started to attract large numbers of tourists mostly from Germany and Great Britten. The Germans and the British were quite smitten with regions natural landscapes, amazing gourmet food and the slow and relaxed way of life. Lorenzo and Stefano were immediately shocked by the potential of this new market coming their way. They decided to renovate the machinery of the public slaughterhouse at their own expense in order to improve and refine the flavor of their cold cuts while at the very same time maintaining the same authenticity and unique quality as always. It’s amazing to think about all of this today, so many years later and even though so much has happened over the years, yet so little have changed quality wise, the quality of their products are as good now as they where back then and for us to be able to experience something so authentic and so original with so many flavors and aroma is truly amazing.
the year 1971 was the year where their little butcher shop in the village of Greve would be world known for the very first time, and it was their very first debut in the international press. The mouthwatering flavors, that I, in fact, can state that still are as amazing as they say the quality and the authenticity of their cold cuts and their talent for communicating their products and their world of values, create interest in the Antica Macelleria Falorni. In the year of 1971, a two-page spread is published in the Capital. Little did they know then that this was just the beginning.
Only four years later in 1975 the two brothers Lorenzo and Stefano decides to go into partnership with their friend Carlo, the founder of Arcigola witch in the 80’s became known as the slow food. Stefano even became a board member of the association.
The next five years went fast, the international newspapers had nothing but but praise for the Falorni business and the wonderful first class products they produced whitch already then where starting to be exportad all over the world. The international press made the people around the world interested in the first class cold cuts from the family butcher shop in tuscany.
Lorenzo and Stefano begin to offer a flavor of their now world known family legacy to major Italian traid fairs all the way from Salone del Gusto to Vinitaly.
In the 80’s and 90’s the two brothers purchase the familie’s public slaugtherhouse from other relatives and quickly turn it into the leading family-run chain of butchering and procssesing and retail in all of Tuscany. Over the years they had evolved from being artisans into entrepreneurs.
Now, Antica Macelleria Falorni’s production, sales and reputation grew strongly over the years and the historic butcher shop’s sign now is the family’s official brand. A brand that are charist and loved all over the globe. They are still growing stronger every day, with new recipes such as the very first prepeard meats made with wild Boar, as for the traditional recipes they are carefully protected and improved. The shop offers a full range of Tuscan Salumi, while they’re still continuing to process high quality of fresh meat.
Today, it’s 2018 and the Falorni family company is a part of an entrepreneurial group of flourishing businesses related to high-quality food and wine industry all over the world. the business are runned by Lorenzo and Stefano Bencistà Falorni. Recongnised by unioncamere as one of the 150 companies that have made the history of Italy, the Falorni family are proudly exporting their products to approximately 60 countries and counting.
This was a small pice of history from the small butcher shop in Greve in Chianti, I’m honored to have been able to visit the shop and I hope that I one day get to come back. It’s amazing how it all started and how it all is today. A part of me wonder about the old pasta fabric as well, how it was back in the day when the Falorni family got started witht heir business and the pasta fabric was providing pasta for the village located in the heart of Tuscany.
I hope you enjoyed my long-turned short history lesson on where most exquisit mat products of all of Tuscany comes from. The information I needed was provided to me by ; http://falorni.it.
Coming up tomorrow is my very own recipe on how to make the perfect chicken on the go. I’m very excited about sharing my recipe with y’all tomorrow.
I hope you all have an amazing Friday so far and I hope to see you back here tomorrow for a new post and a new recipe.