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Salamis and Sausages of the Trentino


The region of Trent (Trento) has a long tradition of preserved and seasoned meats. This is a tradition typical of a mountainous region, where the climate favours the consumption of hearty flavoured delicacies and necessitates reserves for the long winter months.
Up to the end of the last world war, these regions, without adequate infrastructure, would remain completely isolated during the winter months due to heavy snowfalls. Pork is prepared using all of the parts of the pig, thus producing a wide range of meat products, ranging from those considered 'poor' to those considered 'rich', such as the salamis, which are without doubt among the best known. Also because the 'prosciutto' ham, traditionally, is not made in the Trentino but, instead, the pork leg is used to make salamis and sausages. The best-known area in the province of Trent, famous for its salamis is the 'Val Rendena', a picturesque valley along the Sarca river.


LARD

Lard from the region of Trento is made from the highest part of the pork shoulder, which is characterised by a pinkish colour, which makes this lard particularly tasty. There are three different traditional flavours: salted, aromatised, and smoked, to be found at the best local artisan workshops.
Up until a few decades ago (as may well be up to today in some remote mountainous area), lard was produced for family use. In order to preserve the lard from getting rancid it was heavily pounded, seasoned and preserved tightly packed, avoiding air bubbles, in terracotta containers. In this way the lard could be kept for an entire year. It was used for cooking as well as for spreading on bread or with 'polenta'.


"PROBUSTO" Sausage

'Probusto' is a speciality typical of the city of Rovereto. This flavoursome but delicate sausage, made from the nape of the pig's neck and lean beef, and is of antique tradition. The sausage mixture is aromatised with garlic and then filled in mutton intestine. This is then left to air-dry for a day and is then smoked for two days in birch wood. This speciality is a product of German origin and well known in Germany, where it is called "Frankfurterwürstel".


SANGUINACCI (Black pudding)

In the region of Trentino there are various ways of preparing products using pigs' blood called "baldonazzi" or "buristi".
A very old recipe is that of the "baldonazzi", which is made by mixing pigs' blood, sweet chestnut flour, walnuts, sultanas, lard, nutmeg and other spices. This speciality has an intense, sweet-sour taste and it is served boiled with mashed potatoes, and also with sauerkraut and polenta. Other types of "sanguinacci" sausages are thickly sliced, lightly fried in butter and served with boiled potatoes.


GARLIC SALAMI

This is a true speciality, characterised both by a light taste of garlic and by the soft texture of this salami, which derives from the use of the best parts of the pig and the particular workmanship which goes into the production of the very fine paste used in the creation of the salami. It is widely known in the entire Trentino region and is produced both industrially and at an artisan level.


"COTECHINI" Sausages

The production of this speciality tends to utilise all the parts of the pig. It is a rough mixture of meat made from the minced up rind and snout, with the addition of spices. It is boiled and served hot with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut


"CARNE SALADA" (Salted Meat)

"Carne Salada" is made from beef rump, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, juniper berries and white wine. The fresh meat is seasoned in wooden casks and preserved in brine for twenty days. This speciality is eaten cooked with sauerkraut, or thinly sliced, sautéed on a griddle and served with a side dish of boiled beans dressed with a little olive oil.


SAUSAGES

The sausages from the Trentino region are a little particular as they must be eaten as soon as they have been made. This is due to their long, thin shape, to the fine kind of mixture they are made with, and also to the spices used (pepper, nutmeg, and sometimes horseradish and cumin) which give these little sausages a very special flavour. They are prepared in boiling water, cooked together with sauerkraut or fried in a little butter and often go well served with polenta.

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