Sabadiego also known as Sabadeña
or Chorizo Sabadiego
is a popular sausage in Noreña, a municipality in the Asturias region of Spain. The name means "Saturday Sausage" (Sabado
means Saturday). In Spain and in other European Christian countries, the consumption of any meat was strictly forbidden on Friday, with noble meats on Saturday as well. This was rigidly observed during Lent, a 40 day period of fasting preceding Easter.
It has been accepted that in the eighteenth century Alonso Marcos de Llanes Argüelles, bishop of Segovia and archbishop of Seville, Christianized this sausage with the approval of King Carlos III, and also authorizing the consumption of a certain type of meat exclusively on Saturdays. This meat was called Saturday Meat, and generally used to be wild game or an injured animal. Offal meats (heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, blood, skin, stomach, tripe) were considered inferior meats and were also permitted. Thus, Sabadiego (Saturday) sausage was invented, and as long as it was made with strict adherence to church requirements (made from less noble meats), there was no conflict.
The pigs were slaughtered during Christmas or soon after, so the supply of meat was short lived and Sabadiego sausage was available for only a few months. Today, Sabadiego can be made at any time.