Cotechino of Modena for the New Year 2021
Cotechino is a specialty of Modena and Bologna we normally eat during New Year’s eve together with potatoes puree and lentils and it is a blend of minced pork meat flavored with spices, herbs, and then stuffed into casings. It is a PGI PRODUCT of Emilia, Italy.
Lentils are the symbol of money and luck so we absolutely have to eat them during the first day of the year.
At home we can use a raw cotechino that is dried in hot air ovens and in this case, it is necessary to boil it previously for approx 2 hours while the pre-cooked one, which is packed in a hermetically sealed bag and previously heat-treated at elevated temperatures, it just has to be cooked for half an hour in boiling water and then cut into slices and served with potatoes puree and lentils.
It can also be used in several other ways. It is really tasty!
Ingredients of Zampone of Modena PGI are the same as Cotechino: carefully selected pork meat combined with pork rind, according to the dictates of the ancient recipe. The ground meat can bE flavored with pepper, nutmeg, camon, cloves, and wine.
The only difference between Cotechino and Zampone is that the mixture of Zampone is stuffed into a natural casing, represented by the skin of the pig’s front leg, linked to the upper end, according to tradition.
The "Zampone" was born in 1511 thanks to an idea of a cook who decided to use pigs to prevent people from starving during the wars of that period.
“Let's slaughter the pigs,” he said, “ and put the leaner meat in a casing made of the skin of its legs so we could keep it and cook it later”. So its original shape has consecrated the fortune of this product.
After 500 years the two famous cured meat are still prepared according to the recipe of the past but with a Protected Geographical indication to give more guarantees.
Zampone and COtechino are now considered the progenitors of all cured meats containing rind.