The first week in Tuscany, Italy for the Philosophy of Food Maymester 2016 has been amazing! I am overwhelmed with the beautiful scenic views of greenery, loads of meats and nice people. One of the first dinners we had was at “Antica Macelleria Cecchini” owned by the famously known butcher, Dario Cecchini. It was an honor to have this family-style feast that included many unique style dishes, which demonstrated the care and respect for the meat. Taking a philosophy course on food is very intriguing and different than what I am use to, especially because as the days progress I learn that everyone has a different belief and approach to cooking. One idea that really stayed with me from Dario’s visit was his philosophy of not being particularly interested in only “healthy” food, but instead in caring for and using the whole animal as a sign of respect. Being a butcher is a sacrifice especially coming from someone who was studying to be a veterinary before taking ownership of the family business.
The visit to Dario’s and the feast we had allowed me to reflect more on the sacrifice that the animal, farmer and butcher have made. While Dario only owns an experimental farm where the animals get to enjoy and live until they die (which is super expensive to maintain), we had the opportunity to see other great farms that are run with the purpose of consuming the meat. The farmer, butcher and animal all sacrifice something, whether time or life. Being a butcher is serious work and Dario’s expertise comes from a long line of knowledge and creativity.
Since our visit to Dario’s and another farm owned by Falaschi in San Miniato, I have a different approach to food, especially meat. Realizing how much work, time and sacrifice goes into farming; butchering or cooking allows me to respect the meal more especially meats since it it’s the literal sacrifice of an animal that I am consuming. The beauty of the land, the fields, vineyards, animals and food have left me in awe, yet I leave you with this – next time you eat out, ask more about the food, the process and learn more about what you are consuming because ultimately the food one consumes is a reflection of oneself since we are making the choice to eat and purchase it.
Visaury Moreta '18