This ancient sausage originated in the southern Italy known as Lucania around 200 BC. It was first described by Marcus Gavius Apicius, a Roman gourmet and lover of refined luxury who lived sometime in the 1st century AD, during the reign of Tiberius in “A taste of Ancient Rome.” The sausage was brought back to Rome by soldiers who served in Lucania which also means that it was a staple of the soldier’s diet. Romans were known to carry dry sausages (salami) and it may be concluded that the nutritional value and preserving qualities of salami contributed largely to the success of Roman military machine. As Napoleon observed almost 2,000 years later: “the army marches on its stomach.” A conclusion can be made that Lucanian sausage must have been of the dry type (salami), otherwise it would have spoiled in soldier’s bag.

Pork, lean700 g1.54 lb
Pork back fat or fat trimmings300 g0.66 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt18 g3 tsp
Cure #22.5 g1/2 tsp
Pepper, ground2.0 g1 tsp
Pepper, whole corns1 Tbsp
Cumin, ground4.0 g2 tsp
Bay leaves, crushed5
Savory, dried1 tsp
Garum*50 g3 Tbsp OR Fish sauce, 50 ml (3 Tbsp)
Parsley, chopped28 g1 oz
Ruta**2 tsp
Pine nuts, roasted100 g3.5 oz
  1. Cut or grind meat through a 3/8” (10 mm) plate. Cut fat into 3/8” (10 mm) cubes.
  2. Roast pine nuts in butter or lard until light brown. Mix salt, cure #2 and spices with garum sauce then mix with ground meat. Add pepper corns, roasted pine nuts, fat and mix again.
  3. Stuff firmly into 32-26 mm hog casings making pairs. Make links 12” (30 cm) long. Smoke with a thin cold smoke at 18° C (68° F) for two days. Dry sausage for a month at 12° C (53° F) at low humidity. Store at 12° C ( 53° F).

  4. An easier to make hot smoked version: Decrease the amount of salt to 12 g (2 tsp). Except smoking other processing steps remain the same. Smoke sausage for 2 hours at 60° C (140° F). Increase smokehouse temperature to 85° C (185° F) and bake the sausage for 90 minutes or cook in water at 80° C (176° F) for 35 minutes. Cool in cold water, dry briefly and refrigerate.
(For meat you can use 1/2 lean pork and 1/2 pork belly).

* Garum - a fermented fish sauce used in the cuisines of ancient Greece, Rome, and Byzantium. Garum fish paste was prepared from the blood and intestines of fish through the process of autolysis. In biology, autolysis, more commonly known as self-digestion, refers to the destruction of a cell through the action of its own enzyme. Garum was consumed by a poor folk, noble class and the emperor; garum sauce as important to Italians as the soy sauce is to Orientals.When mixed with wine, vinegar, black pepper, or oil, garum enhances the flavor of a wide variety of dishes, including boiled veal and steamed mussels, even pear-and-honey soufflé.

Modern Garum Recipe
Combine a 1/2 cup of white wine with two tablespoons of anchovy paste and 1 teaspoon of crushed dry oregano.
Garum can be substituted with commercially produced fish sauce. You can add oregano, cumin or any spices of your liking.

**Ruta graveolens-commonly known as rue, common rue or herb-of-grace-is a species of Ruta grown as a herb. It is native to the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is not an herb that is typically found in modern cuisine, and is today largely unknown to the general public and unavailable in grocery stores, however, it is possible to order ruta online.

Ancient Garum Recipe - from Gargilius Martialis, De medicina et de virtute herbarum, reprinted from A Taste of Ancient Rome by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, Anna Herklotz (Translator). Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (May 2, 1994) ISBN: 0-226-29032-8

- use fatty fish, for example, sardines, and a well-sealed (pitched) container with a 26-35 quart/liter capacity. Add dried, aromatic herbs possessing a strong flavor, such as dill, coriander, fennel, celery, mint, oregano, and others, making a layer on the bottom of the container, then put down a layer of fish (if small leave them whole, if large use pieces); and over this add a layer of salt two fingers high. Repeat these three layers until the container is filled. Let it rest for seven days in the sun. Then mix the sauce daily for twenty days. After that time it becomes liquid (garum).

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