Is it legal to carry lardo into the U.S.?
I brought a package of lardo into the U.S. and I'm not sure whether I've broken Agricultural Dept. importation rules. The lardo is dated and stamped with a lot number, from Da Amerigo in Sevigno (Emilia Romagna). I'm curious about this product--is it merely cured like prosciutto? Is it pasteurized and/or cooked in some way? It's cryovac'ed, and still attached to skin with bristles--yet it's pure white with no visible veins/tissues/nerves. I was told that two related products are made from the pig's fat back--the semi-solid, fibrous part is made into cicioli (which is sometimes fried and sold as a snack, sometimes just sliced v. thin), the rendered creamy white stuff into lardo. So the lardo is cooked, not cured, and therefore legal. Any thoughts?
Lardo from Colonnata in Tuscany, considered the gold standard of lardo (!!), is cured but not cooked. But yours is from ER so maybe the process is different....
Ugh, man, if I were to see it, I would probably have a better answer for you. The best answer I can come up with is that you are in no danger of contracting any disease from the meat. Now, if you were to go out back and feed it to pigs for their evening meal...maybe...and it is a stretch, you would give the pigs a disease like swine fever or something.Or, if you were to toss leftovers or it gets old and you throw it in the garbage and, who knows what happens to garbage after you toss it, it eventually gets into the mouth of a swine...then maybe that would be bad and cause an outbreak of swine fever or something nasty.
English officials traced an outbreak of swine fever to a fetid pork sandwich that a hiker tossed into a sty one day on his afternoon walk. Again, that is what we were told. So, any pork from Europe is often highly regulated.
Had it been inspected by a CBP ag inspector, my bet is that it would have been seized and incinerated.
I guess I can only say enjoy it, declare meat in the future, and have a nice night.