Ciauscolo (sometimes also spelled ciavuscolo or ciabuscolo) is a variety of Italian salame, typical of the Marche region (especially of the Province of Macerata), although it is also widely used in nearby Umbria (especially in the territory of Foligno and part of northern Valnerina).
Ciauscolo is a soft, spreadable pate’-like smoked pork sausage, often spiked with garlic and vino cotto.
In the mountains of Marche and Umbria, the pig is the reigning sovereign, yielding a large variety of salamis for which – in line with the parsimonious character of the people of the Marches – every part of the pig is used, even the parts which are usually considered to be scraps. The pig, in fact, is the guiding thread of the inland Marches gastronomy and its history is tied to that of the share-cropping families; it was reared with acorns and mash and the butchering would take place during the winter when the food produced by the other agricultural activities was becoming scarce and the low temperatures permitted the processing and the preservation of the pork meats. The custom of making the best use of all the parts of the pig, even of the less prized parts, gave birth to the two most typical sausages and salamis of the region, the ciauscolo or ciavuscolo and the salame lardellato.
The «ciauscolo» is a sausage which is eaten fresh, spread on slices of homemade bread and which is traditionally prepared with the least prized parts of the animal taken from the belly, the ribs and the shoulder with the addition of fat. The mixture is seasoned with salt and pepper, garlic and vino cotto (homemade, cooked grape must), and then passed through the mincing machine to be minced very finely. Stuffed into an intestine, it is similar to a large sausage and is smoked, sometimes with juniper berries, for a few days. It is then matured for a period of time which varies from two to three months in well ventilated premises or in the cellar.