Ventricina olevanese sausage

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A tradition of the city of Olevano, from which it gets its name, the ventricina olevalese sausage is different from the more traditional Abruzzese varieties thanks to the use of orange rind in the mixture. The name “ventricina” comes from the pig bladder which farmers used to case the large pieces of pork meat. The preparation technique dates back to the early years of the 1800s: the product is obtained from processing the better parts of the pig, the hind leg and shoulder of the pig for the lean part (80%) and bacon for the fat part (20%), cut roughly by hand or with a meat grinder using a plate with large holes. The mixture, without milk by-product preservatives, seasoned with salt and flavored with wild fennel seeds, pepper, red pepper, coriander, orange rind and fresh garlic, is steeped in Cesanese di Olevano Romano d.o.c. wine then cased and hung in natural casings (bladder or beef intestines called bondiana). Sometimes a local orange called melango is used in the mixture during winter: once used to help preserve them, today this ingredient is used mainly to give a particularly balsamic taste and a fragrant aroma to the product. Cut slices show an uneven structure that is bright red streaked with white that tends to crumble.

It is normally eaten as a table salami, but in Olevano it is also cooked with potatoes, bell peppers and eggplant and served as a main course. It is occasionally used to prepare a savory pasta sauce.

With the advent of more modern production techniques, the ventricina olevalese sausage progressively lost its market. Currently production takes place at age old local, family-run pork butchers. The local producers are trying to once again make people aware of the product and its preparation techniques, so that its tradition does not disappear.

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Production area:Olevano Romano Commune (province of Rome)

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Cured meats and meat products

Nominated by:Marco Fiorini