Fig loin (lonzino or lonza) is a sweet with a very ancient tradition characteristic of the Province of Ancona: the very first recipe dates back to 65 AD and has been handed down to the present thanks to the rural tradition of Vallesina, a small area of Central Italy going from Castelli di Jesi to the Adriatic Sea. After drying in the sun the late September harvest, figs are mixed with other ingredients of the poor rural tradition: almonds, small pieces of citron, and star anise seeds. Mixed with a little sapa (white or black grape must) or mistrà (liquor obtained from the maceration of anise seeds in alcohol) and wrapped up in fig leaves, they become lonze or lonzini (loins). Tied with a twine, they last until spring, completing the kids' snacks and the celebration desserts. With its golden brown color, compact and solid, it can be cut into small slices and eaten with pecorino di fossa or cow's milk ricotta.
Fig loin is rather rare and can be found only in some delicacies shop. Since it is a traditional dish of the rural cuisine, it risks the extinction like the world that invented it.
In order to prevent it from becoming a gastronomy archeology product, it is protected by a Slow Food Presidium supported by Assivip (an association of wine growers and makers), gathering the last producers. The Slow Food Foundation aims at recovering and enhancing this production starting from local restaurants. In this way, it would also like to promote the development of fig cultivation, above all of the varieties that have been cut out from the market because not very productive and too delicate, but which represent a great biodiversity heritage.