Pig farming has long been an important activity in the wooded mountains of Abruzzo’s interior. The pigs were traditionally slaughtered between December and January, when the cold temperatures would facilitate the hanging and preservation of the meat.
Liver sausage, known locally as cicolana, is typical of the province of L’Aquila and one of the fruits of this long-standing tradition. It is made primarily with pork liver, heart and tongue, with the addition of some lean and fat pork meat. The sausage represents an excellent way of using up all the parts of the animal and making the offal and less-prized cuts of meat more appetizing, thanks to skillful seasoning.
Two types of sausage are traditionally made, both between November and April. In the classic recipe, the meat is flavored with pepper, chili and garlic, while the sweet version includes honey for a more refined flavor. In L’Aquila households, the sweet sausage would traditionally be eaten for breakfast on Easter morning, along with pizza pasquale, a semi-sweet loaf of bread and boiled eggs.
The exact proportions of the seasonings for the two sausages are jealously guarded by every butcher and handed down through the generations. Once the meat mixture has been packed into a natural casing, it is tied by hand. A clever twist in the middle of the sausage gives it its characteristic horseshoe shape. Like the seasoning recipe, the tying technique is passed down from father to son. The sausages are kept in a warm room for around a week, close to a stove or fireplace, then hung from a rod for around 30 days somewhere cool, but not temperature-controlled.
Two types of sausage are traditionally made, both between November and April. After tying, the sausages are hung in a cool place for 30 days
The Presidium wants to promote this historic product, bringing together the remaining producers into an association that will agree to follow a strict production protocol, based on respect for traditional techniques, the exclusion of preservatives or additives and a local supply chain. Where possible, the farming of black Abruzzese pigs, currently on the verge of extinction, will be reintroduced.
Municipalities in the Gran Sasso Aquilano, Monti della Laga Aquilana and the middle and upper Aterno Valley
Presidium supported by
Gal Gran Sasso Velino
tel. +39 0862 68422 - +39 366 3319253
Piazzale del Lago
Castel del Monte (Aq)
tel. +39 333 24449006
Via San Giorgio, 1
tel. +39 0862 909260 – +39 347 9402266