Archivists at the American Institute for Verdi Studies discovered a document that sheds new light on Verdi’s activity just prior to the composition of his final opera, Falstaff.
A letter from the publisher Giulio Ricordi dated 22 August 1890 congratulates Verdi on the successful launching of a new business devoted to the sale of pork prepared at the composer’s Sant’Agata farm.
Ricordi, having purchased a “G.V. brand” pork shoulder, reports that he found the bill “a bit salty”, but for such exquisite meat he would pay “neither a lira more nor a lira less”.
This according to “New Verdi document discovered” by Martin Chusid (Verdi newsletter XX  p. 23). (The information in this article, delicious as it is, appears to be outdated; see the comment below.)
Today is Verdi’s 200th birthday! Below, in Falstaff’s finale, the opera’s characters prepare to dine together—no doubt anticipating the composer’s own homegrown prosciutto.
Related article: Verdi’s gastromusicology