Festa Monini: colors, sounds and tastes of Umbria

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Salsicce and mazzafegati sausages

Tastes from Umbria
07 Giugno 2013

Salsicce and mazzafegati sausages

Strong genuine flavours, served with homemade bread and a good red wine.

Pork is always tasty: processed, stored, cooked and enjoyed anywhere in the world. But there is no region that can boast traditional excellence like Umbria: ancient know-how, an art known as "norcineria" - pork butchery from Norcia of course.
And the pork butchers after having separated and prepared the "noblest" pork parts, famous prosciutti, lombetti (loins), shoulders and capocolli, know how best to use each cut, how to flavour, season, grind or cure the meat with unique and excellent recipes handed down from generation to generation.


Umbrian sausages, for example, are made more delicious as a result of a typical condiment made with garlic, salt and plenty of ground black pepper. They are excellent both seasoned and fresh and at festivals it is not unusual to find them warm and inviting, barbequed together with vegetables, and a slice of torta al testo. They can be cooked in many different ways: stewed or roasted with potatoes and rosemary, or crumbled in sauces "alla norcina" to dress a hot polenta. The characteristic Umbrian Autumn combination with grapes, is unusual and interesting.


I mazzafegati
But there are also sausages that come from different cuts of meat. Mazzafegati, for example, are sausages that have a strong taste. They can be sweet or savoury, fresh or semi-seasoned, but they are always very tasty.

They consist mainly of second choice pork meat cuts: heart, spleen, tongue, lung, part of the jowl/cheek fresh, but always with a strong component of liver (hence the name fegato - liver). All the cuts of meat, in the right proportions, are ground and seasoned with salt, pepper, possibly garlic, orange zest and spices. They are then stuffed into a natural gut with a small diameter which has been washed and spiced in hot wine. Finally pricked to allow excess juice to be expelled and left to mature for a few days in a warm but well ventilated environment, they are then moved into a cool cellar where they are left to rest for at least a month.

Typical Umbrian is also a sweet version flavoured with the addition of pine nuts, cinnamon, wine, raisins and sugar.

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