Differences between zampone and cotechino

They can not miss on holiday tableespecially at midnight of New Year’s: I am cotechino e pig’s trotter, the protagonists of the end of year dinners. But what are the differences between cotechino and zampone? Often accompanied by the classics lentilsbut also from mashed potatoes and in some cases from polenta, cotechino and zampone differ from each other for some features.

What are zampone and cotechino

These are two sausages from tradition of Italian delicatessen. Both cotechino and zampone are prepared with a pork mix. What’s inside the trotter? In the case of the trotter, the ground grain is more rustic and contains fat parts and rind. The zampone casing, as its name suggests, is the front leg of the pig which is carefully emptied and cleaned so as to leave only the skin (rind) which thus becomes the casing of the sausage. The lower part of the zampone is made up of the actual paw, while the upper part is sewn to prevent the filling from coming out during cooking. For what concern cotechino instead, the stuffing it is also made up of fat parts and minced pork rind finer grained. Everything is then stuffed into casings which can be natural or artificial.

The differences between cotechino and zampone

The differences between these two typical New Year’s sausages are:

  • Consistency of the grain
  • Type of casing
  • Mix in spices with which the meat is seasoned
  • Dimensions and weight: the zampone is always bigger than the cotechino which can be stuffed into various sizes

Both zampone and cotechino can come from the industrial market or from that handcrafted. Both products are very good, but it is clearly the traditional preparation that makes the difference in the dish. Cotechino and zampone are two sausagesby some considered salami, which must be consumed after cooking in boiling water being careful not to cook them too long to prevent the meat from falling apart.

History of zampone and cotechino

Despite the differences between these two products of Italian gastronomic culture, zampone and cotechino are both one of the culinary symbols of city ​​of Modena. The story of zampone and cotechino finds its roots around the 1500 when the troops of Pope Julius II della Rovere try to settle the city of Mirandola which at the time was governed by John Pic. After days of resistance, the inhabitants of Mirandola are reduced to hunger, only a few pigs remain. The cooks of Pico della Mirandola they ingeniously tried to keep the pork meat inside its own legs so that it could be cooked and consumed a little at a time and thus avoid starving. That was the moment in which the first versions of cotechino and zampone were born, it is not known when it is true and when it is legendary, but it is certain that cotechino and zampone are among the cornerstones of Italian cuisine.

How to bring zampone and cotechino to the table

Zampone and cotechino recipes are not only made with lentils. In Modenese cuisine these two sausages are prepared throughout the cold season and the recipes are varied and all full of flavour. To amaze on New Year’s Eve, but also for a winter lunch or dinner, try the recipe for Cotechino In Crust. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, this cotechino is wrapped in blanched cabbage leaves and raw ham. It all comes later wrapped with puff pastry, brushed with beaten egg and finally baked. You can serve this recipe with a classic lentil side dish or even with a winter salad. Before slicing the cotechino, let it cool for about ten minutes in order to obtain precise slices. Another perfect recipe to give flavor to the winter season is the cotechino with cabbagecertainly inspired by the traditional cassoeula, where the pork meets cabbageseasonal vegetables in winter.

But cotechino and zampone are not just simple second courses, as demonstrated by the recipe fettuccine with cotechino. An extraordinary pasta that has all the flavor of home and tradition. In this version there are also i artichokes, which give this first course a sweet scent that balances the pleasant and typical flavor of the cotechino. Between recipes with cotechino different from the usual there is also that of Cotechino In Galeraa preparation in which the cotechino is wrapped in a slice of beef and raw ham.

Zampone can also be used for different recipes, such as, for example zampone with porcini fondue. In this version the zampone is enhanced by the earthy flavor of the porcini which are a real delight in combination with pork. Finally, both zampone and cotechino can be one of the ingredients of a good mixed boiled meatthen served with Mostarda e green sauce.

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