This article explores a renowned Italian salume (cured meat product) made of many different pork oddments that give it a complex but melting texture. It is usually found in one of two forms, cotechino or—the chief focus of the article—the more demanding zampone. Both are associated with the Christmas-New Year's holiday season throughout the Emilia-Romagna region. For cotechino, a mixture of pork meat, tendons, rind, and bits of snout and jowl is filled into hog casings just as for other sausages; for the more demanding zampone, a similar mixture is stuffed into an almost completely deboned pig's foot. The article traces the history of zampone from Renaissance Modena to modern commercial versions; it then recounts the author's attempt to make it from scratch, as was done in his childhood in the Cape Cod village of Sagamore, a community of immigrants from Emilia-Romagna who long preserved traditions of home butchering and sausage-making.
- Christmas-New Year's
- Renaissance Modena
- Cape Cod
- © 2012 The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.