Is Dario's Tonno Del Chianti Sandwich Actually Made With Tuna?

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Determining which is more famous, his personality or his butchery skills is difficult to determine when it comes to Dario Cecchini. The boisterous, yet humble, genius of Italian meats has been exported to the wider world thanks to books like "Heat" by Bill Buford and shows like "Chef's Table" and Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations." He's now made his way across the pond with Cicci de Carne by Dario, a sandwich shop in Brookfield Place in Manhattan.

The menu comes stocked with exactly what you would think of when entering an Italian sandwich shop — porchetta, roast beef, mortadella, salami, and Caprese for vegetarians. There is one item on the menu, however, that has caused some confusion. It's the tonno sandwich. Anyone familiar with the Italian language — or the top shelf at the grocery store — will know that "tonno" translates to "tuna." This seems relatively straightforward, but it's not because the tonno sandwich at Cicci de Carne is both tuna and not tuna.

Tuna, Chianti style

Tonno del Chianti, or tuna chianti style, isn't actually tuna. It's pork. The recipe is a recreation of an old Tuscan recipe of slow-cooked pork preserved in olive oil, similar to how you would cook and preserve a fine tuna (via Los Angeles Times). The name, likely derived as a marketing tactic, was likely given owing to the similarities between the Chianti tonno and tuna tonno. So, for bonafide foodies and followers of Dario, Tonno del Chianti is known for not actually being tuna fish. For the everyday sandwich buyer, it's a different story.

Grub Street, having reported on the on-again-off-again is it or isn't it tuna scandal at Subway, decided, on faith, to see if the Tonno del Chianti at Cicci de Carne in New York was actually the preserved pork from Italy. Disappointed, perhaps, they discovered that the tonno served in Brookfield Place was actually, well, tuna. The realization was that "serving tuna panini that were actually pork panini without explicitly stating so 12 times on its menu and requiring customers to sign waivers ... would be outrageous and likely incite mob violence." So, in an official answer to the question posed in the title, yes the Tonno del Chianti sandwich is actually made with tuna, but only in America. You've gotta go abroad for the other stuff.