Dishing on Italian Film: Fegatelli all’aretina and Mario Monicelli’s Florentine Superhit

Nov 22, 2022 150

BY: Eric Millman

If you’ve ever been to a Tuscan market, you might’ve spied a strange-looking pack of meaty morel-looking morsels called fegatelli all’aretina. Though largely composed of chunked-up pig's liver, their alien appearance stems from a most unusual sheath — caul fat, the lacy barrier surrounding the animal’s digestive organs. Used to protect these delicate guts on the grill, it ensnares in its net not only bay leaves and fennel seeds for flavor, but a whole etymological vortex.

Just as they might enrich a trip to the market or macellaio (butcher), the linguistic layers of liver that follow could deepen a first or fifteenth viewing of Mario Monicelli’s 1975 film Amici miei (My Friends). One of the most beloved comedies in the history of Italian film, Amici miei follows the exploits of an all-male, middle-aged friend group in Florence, with fraternal camaraderie and fegatelli all’aretina both figuring into the storyline.

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