Salam d’la duja

Novara & Vercelli, Piemonte

Salam d’la duja – F CeragioliCC BY-SA 4.0

Salami fresh pork fat dipped in the same animal and stored nell’orcio clay (“Doja” in Piedmont). In addition to minced meat, lard and traditional spices in the dough is usually added some ‘garlic and second zones, a few glasses of red wine, mostly Barbera.

Just packaged salami is left to dry for ten days, then put nell’orcio and completely covered with melted fat pork. The seasoning gives them extra softness. Are typical of lowland rice between Vercelli and Novara, Banchette (TO); Borgomanero (NO), Brion (NO); Caltignaga (NO); Cervatto (VC); Fobello (VC).

They can be eaten after a few weeks or even after a year of seasoning (in this case are slightly spicy). They are eaten as meats, such as they are or used in different preparations, including the “bread” (main course with rice, beans, and, of course, “the salami Doja).

The production of “salam d’la duja,” a pure pork sausage preserved in fat, is limited principally to parts of Piedmont, though it also includes the area of Lomellina in Lombardy. The Piedmontese provinces involved are those of Novara and Vercelli: these areas are damp because of the presence of numerous waterways and rice fields and thus do not constitute a favorable environment for the traditional methods of curing meat, which requires dry conditions.

The type of sausage produced here is first cured for a brief period and then left to mature in a “duja,” a special container which was originally in terracotta, though nowadays it is often made from materials such as steel. The sausage is placed in the “duja” and covered with a layer of melted leaf lard which, when solidified, allows it to mature without becoming hard.

The best “salame della duja” is made with pure pork from pigs that have been fed primarily on cereals. The best cuts are the shoulder, the leg, the loin, the neck, and the belly. The meat is ground relatively coarsely and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and red wine (sometimes also with cinnamon and nutmeg). It is then packed into skins to form a sausage, whose weight decreases as it is cured. Curing takes about 5 weeks, and then the “salame” is immersed in lard in the “duja” for a period of up to a year or even more.