In Italy there’s no New Year dinner without zampone or cotechino with lentils. But, what is the difference between this two products similar in the appearance?
According to a popular legend, both products were made for the first time in 1511 near Modena, where the area was besieged by the troops of Pope Julius II. On this occasion, to prevent that pigs felt into the hands of the invaders, people slaughtered and bagged minced meat in the rind, giving rise to “cotechino”, and then in the skin of the forelegs, announcing the birth of “zampone”.
So, we can say that zampone and cotechino are two sausages cured meat products, made with selected pork meat, produced in a well-determined area of northern and central Italy according to a traditional recipe handed down for over 5 centuries.
Cotechino or Zampone?
Zampone is made from selected pork meat combined with rind and flavored with pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and wine. Then it is stuffed into a natural casing, the skin of the foreleg of the pig, tied at the top.
Cotechino is made of noble parts of pork and rind: the meat is minced and flavored with herbs and spices, then stuffed into bowel.
Two excellent products of Italian charcuterie
Zampone and cotechino are traditionally linked to Christmas, but actually they can be used for everyday recipes thanks to their moderate calorie count, about the equivalent of 500 gr. of mozzarella.
Source: Mr Cotechino and Mr Zampone