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salam d'la duja

salame aged in lard

Not to be confused with 'nduja from Calabria, salam d'la duja (or salame della duja) a real delicacy in Piedmont, with a confraternity devoted to keeping up its sacred traditions.

The duja is a clay pot. This salame, made from top cuts of pork (shoulder, leg, neck and culatello) which are minced, then mixed with belly fat, salt, pepper, garlic and red wine. The mixture is then stuffed into beef intestines; as the salami are packed in the pot, they are covered in lard, which keeps them soft and adds flavour.

It's also a method of preserving meat used because the climate of the area was too damp for dry ageing hams and sausages: filling the space inside the pot with lard excludes air, preventing the growth of bacteria. After curing, the salam d'la duja is aged for eight months to a year and used in traditional dishes in the region, notably paniscia.

Feste del salam d'la duja at Olevano (near Pavia) mid-August, Carpignano Sesia (Novara) end of July, Cigliano (Vercelli) late September.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: italian salame