The English translation of this term is ‘donkey’s balls’; it actually is not donkey’s testicles, though, but round sausages made from donkey’s meat. Belonging to the cotechino family, they are native of Monastero di Vasco, a tiny village in the area of Mondovì (CN) and are traditionally widespread in all of the Monregale area. Until a few decades ago, bale d’asu were produced ‘pure’, that is only using donkey’s meat. But when rail transport took the place of the ancient convoys, which used to pass through Monregale valley to reach Liguria, things have changed: donkey’s meat became harder and harder to find and butchers started mixing it with meat from other animals. Today they are prepared with a mix of 60% pork, 20% beef and 20% donkey’s meat, coarsely minced and seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg, herbs and red wine. They are then stuffed in cow rind.Bale d’asu are not aged, but consumed fresh. They are a more tasty variety of the common cotechino: immersed in cold water and cooked for about two hours, they are usually served with masse potatoes, lentils or other boiled legumes as a side dish.
The traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.