These were a basic food from ancient times, essential for the long and hard winter; pork was skilfully worked in such a way that it could be preserved during the entire season. The ancient workmanship and fine tastes have remained intact over time:
The SAUSAGE ( La Salgiccia)
The meat used for this sausage is taken from the best parts of the pig, to which parts of the belly and ear are added, and all are seasoned with salt and pepper. The meat is obtained “at the point of a knife” and then ground up with special machines, that, in addition to shredding and mixing the meat with fat, are used in the stage of filling the casings with the meat itself. The two ends of the casing are tied with thin twine. Sausages prepared in this way are left to dry on a stand in ventilated rooms (although some prefer a location where the fire is lit, for a light smoking effect). The production of this sausage takes place during the winter season, especially between December and January, when the harsh winter climate makes a noteworthy contribution to the drying of sausages and salamis in general.
The “archaic” method of preserving consists of arranging pieces of sausage of about 10cm in length in special containers and covering them with a lukewarm liquified lard. Or they may be placed in a “ciabbotta”, which is a carefully cleaned and dried pork bladder, filled with pieces of sausage and covered with lukewarm lard until it is full.
SALAMI ( Ru Suppresceate)
The meat used to make the local salami is obtained from the best part of the pig (loins, capocollo – top part of the neck) but often “sacrificing” the prosciutto (leg) and shoulder. It is mixed with small pieces of lard, and the mixture is seasoned with salt, ground pepper and peppercorns. The length of the salami is about 25 m. As soon as it is freshly made it is put under a press for about two days to give it its characteristic shape. Subsequently the aging begins by placing the casing with the “closing” twine knotted around the top on a stand. The rooms used for aging must be properly ventilated and if there is a fireplace which is almost constantly lit to give the salami a slight smoking, it will have a more intense flavor. The salami produced in Agnone is a salami for great occasions, convivial gatherings and trips out of town. An important lunch cannot start without some nice slices of salami; an out of town excursion is not complete without some salami in the picnic basket! You will be in good company if you enjoy a glass of red wine with a few slices of salami – the ideal snack!