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Salama - a not-so silly sausage

by Marcello Parmeggiani last modified 2008-06-20 15:11

An age-old tradition which tickles taste buds to the present day. Straight from the Renaissance onto our tables. Ladies and gentlemen, Ferrara's finest salama.

salamaThat salama made my poor heart swell
And my head did turn with its good smell
Oh to eat it, not a scrap I'd leave
Under a shady pine, come this eve
I'd gobble it up with all my might
With no care for the mosquitoes' bite.

It may not be Dante but our earthy scribe (who, like his translator, preferred to remain anonymous) penned this love poem in honour of a sausage - albeit a very tasty one. His beloved 'salama' is a speciality of Ferrara and has been handed down to us since the time of the Este family, the erstwhile rulers of this beautiful city.
Salama sausages are made from a blend of minced pork meat (liver, tongue, neck and throat), red wine, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, rum and a series of secret, but essential, ingredients which no sausage-maker worth his salt would reveal. Just one salama can be made from each pig as the sausage skin used for ageing the meat (usually for eight months) is made from the pig's very bladder.

Salamas have been part of Ferrara's cuisine since Renaissance times and they have been singled out for protection, along with a number of other traditionally prepared foods, by the Slow Food organisation.

salamaIf reading about this delicious dish has ledt your mouth watering then why not have one delivered to your doorstep by foodie website Esperya? An authentic 1 kg salama will set you back ITL 35,.000 (18 Euros).
The same size of a salama will cost you ITL 29,000 lire (15 Euros) on Piaceri d'Italia, while you can eat your fill for even less on Salumificio Roncarati and Salumificio Zironi, where a salama costs ITL 21,000 (10.8 Euros) plus post and packaging. (The last three sites are available in Italian only.)

For those of you lucky enough to visit Ferrara you can taste the real thing at these three highly recommended restaurants:
Trattoria 'Il Mandolino', Via Carlo Mayr, 83 (tel. +39-0532-60080);
Ristorante 'Il Vecchio Mulino', Via X Martiri, 245 - Porotto (tel. +39-0532-730000);
Ristorante 'Provvidenza', Corso Ercole I d'Este, 92 (+39-0532-205187).

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