SENSATIONAL SALAMI AND
Enjoying quality salami on fine slice of Calabrese
bread along with a glass of well-made intense red wine
is pure bliss.
Although salami and many other hard sausages are specialties
of Italy, France and Germany, in Canada there is no
shortage of quality sausages manufactured according
to traditional recipes handed down from generation to
Sausages are one of civilization’s earliest convenience
foods. Greek settlers of antiquity brought the art of
sausage making to Calabria in the south where the tradition
continues. The secret of good taste remains in quality
ingredients. Pork must be fresh and lean, spices, herbs
and other flavouring agents of impeccable quality. The
art and science of sausage making is mixing all ingredients
in appropriate proportions and drying the final product
In Italy, the ancestors of the inhabitants of Lombardy,
the Lombards, were the first in the north to produce
salami well before the 10th century. Later on the tradition
continued in monasteries. Today several villages are
entitled to produce Indicatione geografica protetta
(IGP) quality salami according to traditional recipes.
They are Salami de Genoa, Salami de Varzi, Salami Brianza
and Salami Piacentino. Other regions and cities have
their own versions and each has a somewhat different
recipe as is the case with foods everywhere in Italy.
Salami consists of pork, pork fat, garlic, spices, salt,
black and chilli pepper. The mixture is then stuffed
in natural casings and dried. As the meat shrinks, the
casing is tightened to exclude air to prevent spoiling.
Salami alla cacciatore (hunter style) was and continues
to be the favourite of hunters’ because of its
convenience and compact size.
Salami Brianza may be cylindrical, or rectangular, but
always intensely aromatic and “sweet”, whereas
salami de Varzi is subtler. It was made famous in the
12th century by the Catholic bishop of France and Spain
by distributing his native salami to the nobility.
Kings and princes in the 18th century Europe enjoyed
Salami Piacentino courtesy of Italian merchants in many
European jurisdictions. They are aromatic, deftly spiced,
“sweet”, and contain 15 – 20 percent
Bona Foods salami
are manufactured using traditional Calabrian recipes
that are famous for their flavour, texture and subtle
spicing. The salami are appropriately dried to enhance
the finest quality ingredients
Bona Foods uses. Their salametti, sopressate
calabrese, genoa nostrano and cacciatore are well worth
They taste so good that you might think you eating salami
Mortadella is the most famous sausage of Bologna, the
gastronomic capital of Italy, a k a Bologna the fat,
because of its famous rich dishes. Salsa Bolognese,
and Mortadella, were invented there. Parmiggiano Reggiano
originates in Parma, balsamic vinegar in Modena and
Parma ham from the eponymous city.
Mortadella is a pure pork sausage invented by the friars
in the 16th century by pounding pork with fat, incorporating
spices and whole black pepper corns. The sausage, at
least in Italy has a diameter of 20 – 25 cm. and
can be one meter long. In Canada, mortadella is produced
in a smaller for practical reasons.
Mortadella must be uniformly pink, with an evenly distributed
15 – 20 percent pure white pork fat squares, and
studded with whole black pepper corns. Expertly made
mortadella is aromatic, smells clean and inviting. It
has a smooth texture particularly if served on fine
white Calabrese bread.
D O P (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) mortadella
may be produced in Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Lombardy,
Veneto, Tuscany, Marches, Latium and Trentino. Most
of the mortadella producers had to leave Bologna as
the city grew and land values skyrocketed. Regular mortadella,
however, is produced everywhere in Italy. Outside of
Italy, many sausage manufacturers produce mortadella.
Some brands are better than others.
Bona Foods of Toronto,
established in 1966 by three Italian entrepreneurs has
been able to create a product that can rival the best
mortadella anywhere. Their baby mortadella was specifically
created for small families and available spicy, lean
or extra fine versions with an unmistakable clean aroma
and superb, smooth texture.
For an impromptu lunch, nothing is easier than preparing
a plate consisting of a few slices of salami, mortadella,
a few black and green olives, three or four marinated
mushroom caps, a slice of asiago and two halves of marinated
artichoke hearts. A bottle of fine Moretti or Nostro
Azuro beer and toasted Calabrese bread will help make
a memorable lunch or even dinner.