cotechino

Cotechino is the name of an Italian variety of sausage from Modena, Italy. It is a fresh sausage made form pork rind and pork fatback. It is heavily spiced with a variety of herbs and seasonings and has a strong flavor with a soft and sticky texture. This sausage is also quite large, about 3 inches in diameter and 8-9 inches long, and so is usually eaten sliced up after it is cooked. The name is derived from the Italian word for pig skin, cotiche, and so the rind is the main distinguishing ingredient.

Cotechino originates from the municipality of Gavello in the Veneto region of Italy, and was first developed in 1511 during a siege. The people of Gavello had to find a way to preserve meat, so they used less tender cuts of pork and invented the cotechino. By the 18th century, this delicious creation had replaced the common yellow sausage of the time and became a local favorite.

This sausage has slight variants in the different regions of Italy. Lombardy, Molise, Veneto, and Irpinia all have their own versions and have declared the cotechino their national food. Mirandola developed their own version of the sausage called zampone, which has the same ingredients but are stuffed into pork trotters instead of intestines.

Cotechino sausages are usually made with pig skin or rind, pig fatback, secondary choice meats and fats, mixed in with salt, pepper, and an assortment of other spices and ingredients such as nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper and coriander. The skin is tough, so it is boiled first until it is tender enough to be ground easily. The rest of the ingredients are then mixed in. Since the sausage is raw, it needs to be cooked before eating.

The most popular method of cooking cotechino sausages is by boiling. The most popular way to eat them is with lentils, sauce and mashed potatoes. Here’s a great recipe to make cotechino con lenticchie. This dish is very popular around the New Year, which is why local markets start filling up around December, and internationally Italian delis and shops start storing them too. Cotechino sausages are also used in bollito misto, an Italian stew. Cotechino can also be used to cook some delicious lentil soup.

Cotechino sausages are probably the most popular Italian sausages, and their deliciousness comes from the sticky texture the pork rind brings. Since it is generously spiced, it has a strong taste and the pork fats make it sumptuous and juicy. An interesting tidbit to know about cotechino is that combined with lentils it is a very popular dish around the New Year in Italy, to the point where it is a sort of tradition and most people don’t celebrate the New Year without it. Together with the lentils it is believed to bring good fortune and increased wealth in the coming year.

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