A pork meat preparation - from the italian district of Emilia Romagna and Northern Italy in general.

Ciccioli are prepared by pressing and aging what is left of the pork after most of the other preparations have been carried to effect.

Because of this the spectacle of the making of the ciccioli is not for the weak of stomach (but if you don't think about it, you'll find the taste is more than agreeable). The last (aging) stage, in the traditional preparation, involves a special press, where the meat (wrapped in sack cloth) is gradually squeezed, over a period of several weeks, to remove excess fat.

A practical demonstration of the peasant saying "Del maiale non si butta via nulla" (Nothing of the pig goes to waste), ciccioli come in two varieties: the regular, unattributed one - which are eaten sliced -, and "ciccioli frolli" (sometimes called greppole) which have been subjected to further drying, which turns them into a crunchy snack.

I have reports of the existence of this preparation (by this same name) in Modena, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Parma and Emilia in general, Torino, Cremona, and I have reason to believe it is probably known in most parts of northern Italy.

This tasty specialty was much more enjoyable before cholesterol became a worry (and before we started such athletic professions as computer programming).