Zampone Modena PGI

Zampone Modena is without a doubt one of the most original sausages. The meat paste is stuffed into natural casings made from the skin of the pig’s foot, complete with the toes, and tied at the top. Zampone Modena is produced within its traditional geographical production area, which covers the entire territory of the following Italian provinces: Modena, Ferrara, Ravenna, Rimini, Forlì-Cesena, Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Parma, Piacenza, Cremona, Lodi, Pavia, Milano, Monza-Brianza, Varese, Como, Lecco, Bergamo, Brescia, Mantova, Verona and Rovigo.

MeatsMetricUS
Lean pork*500 g1.10 lb
Pork belly, jowl fat150 g0.33 lb
Pork skin **350 g0.77 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt284.5 tsp
Cure #12.0 g1/3 tsp
Pepper, whole/crushed2.0 g1 tsp
Sugar5 g1 tsp
Cinnamon1.0 g1/2 tsp
Cloves, ground0.3 g1/8 tsp
Garlic1.0 g1/4 clove
Red wine15 ml1 Tbsp
Paprika, sweet (optional)2.0 g1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Grind cold meat through 10 -12 mm (3/8 – 1/2”) plate.
  2. Slice skin into strips and grind through 3-5 mm (3/16-1/4”) plate. For making only one Zampone it is more practical to use a knife and dice meat and fat into 6 mm (1/4”) cubes.
  3. Mix ground meat, fat and skin with all ingredients.
  4. Stuff into emptied front trotter of a pig. The procedure is not unlike removing sock from one’s leg by flipping it over and rolling it down the leg as much as it goes. One hand holds the pig’s trotter down against the table and the other hand works the knife around the leg separating it from the skin. The skin on the top of the pig’s trotter is flipped over and the sharp knife goes down making another incision about 2 cm (3/4”) down, separating more skin from the leg. One hand works the knife and another pins the leg down and pulls on the skin. More skin can be folded over now and the knife can go deeper now all around the leg again. It is much simpler than it sounds. There comes the point when the bones (toes) are reached (the first joint of the foot) and the skin cannot be removed anymore. The skin is flipped over as much as possible; the joint is deep cut all around and it is simply broken off. The meat mixture will go on top of it. Make about 5 holes all around about 2-3 cm (1 inch) from the top of the sack (emptied trotter) for threading butcher twine and tying the sack. Tie it tight making a few loops as the sausage will be cooked in water.
  5. Place in refrigerator and fully cook before serving. Zampone is served hot, but it is produced as a fresh or cooked sausage. Cooking Zampone: The secret to cooking Zampone is to pierce it with a large needle or a point of a sharp knife in a few places all around. Make a small incision under the foot so that the skin does not break during cooking. Place sausage in cold water, bring to a boil and simmer at no more than 80° C (176° F) at low heat for 4 hours. When cooked, the Zampone must be soft and supple to the touch.
Notes
Zampone Modena PGI was awarded PGI certificate of origin on March 19, 1999.
The recipe can be simplified by just using 50% (500 g) of lean meat and 50% (500 g) of skins.
* Meat rich in connective tissue should be selected such as front leg or foot, head meat, or from the neck area.
** pork skin may come from trimming jowls, shoulder, belly and ham cuts. It is of crucial to remove any bristle (hair) from the skin and to scrape off any remaining fat on inside.
Sodium nitrite may be added at <140 ppm (parts per million) which is about 2.0 g ¾ tsp of Cure #1 per 1 kg of meat. Zampone is neither smoked nor extensively dried so the only benefit of adding sodium nitrite at home will be slightly stronger color.
To serve: slice Zampone into 1 cm (1/2”) discs serve with mashed potatoes or lentils.

The geographical area of production

‘Zampone Modena’ owes its reputation to its geographical origin, i.e. the places where it has traditionally been produced. ‘Zampone Modena’ originates in Modena but later came to be produced in other regions of central and northern Italy too, where the same know-how in the art of making pure pork sausages of this kind was also passed on and spread. Its historical origin dates back to the early 16th century. The sausage makers’ industriousness and technical skills, traditionally handed down between those in the trade, are an essential feature of this product, and even today its characteristics are shaped by the importance of environmental and human factors. The reputation of ‘Zampone Modena’ is confirmed by numerous literary references.

The required characteristics of this geographical indication product depend on the natural and human factors in the production area. The environmental conditions of the area are defined by the typical climate of central and northern Italy. The main link with the traditional area of production is the industriousness and technical skills of the sausage makers, who over time have refined their craftsmanship and developed processing techniques that are perfectly attuned to the tradition. These traditions and environmental conditions are also closely linked to the production area’s social and economic development, resulting in unique qualities not found elsewhere.

Production

Meat: and ingredients. Zampone Modena is made from a mixture of pork meat, pork fat, and skin. The sausage composition and processing steps are very similar to that of Cotechino, the main difference lies in the selection of a casing.
Ingredients: salt, whole pepper and/or crushed pepper, wine, natural flavorings, spices and herbs, sugar and/or dextrose and/or fructose, sodium and/or potassium nitrite (maximum 140 parts per million), ascorbic acid and its sodium salt
Processing: preparing the raw materials, mincing, mixing and filling the casings (emptied foot), followed by drying if the product is sold fresh and any pre-cooking and appropriate heat treatment if the product is sold cooked. The sausage is not smoked and smoke flavorings are not permitted. The mixture is stuffed into natural casings made from the skin of the pig's foreleg (trotter), complete with fingers, and tied at the top. Zampone Modena is sold whole, either loose or packaged, if fresh, and suitably vacuum-packed if cooked.

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