Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Record Super Zampone 751 kg

You know Italians are serious about pork and dried meats when the best butchers get together every year to make the largest Zampone in the world. Since 1989 the city of Castelnuovo di Rangone, in the province of Modena, has hosted the Annual FESTA DELLO ZAMPONE PIU' GRANDE DEL MONDO. This year’s masterpiece is 751 kg. I know that many Americans grimace at the thought of Zampone. Last year I wrote about one the most widely used dishes on New Years Day, Lentils and Zampone. By the comments it was clear that most thought, “ughhh, that’s gross!”

This reaction is a result of our industrially processed and packaged culture. Who among us does not love Balogna? Sometimes Bologna is known as Baloney, or the Italian immigrant’s spelling of Bologna, the dried meat most widely used in the city. Bologna and Modena, two sister cities just a few kilometers apart in Emilia Romagna, make Mortadella. Baloney is actually the Italian immigrant’s version of Mortadella. Now here is the trick. Zampone is very similar to Mortadella. Both are various cuts of pork, mixed with various spices or herbs, and allowed to cure. Zampone is a celebration of the best cuts of pork. It is reserved for the highest of holidays. It is a specialty, something to prepare on a rare occasion.

Every year on the first Sunday of December the Master Butchers of Castelnuovo offer Zampone to all who wish to participate. The one objective is to make a Zampone bigger than the previous year’s production. In 2005 they failed miserably coming up almost 100 kg light but this year’s Zampone beat all records. The Zampone is made of linen. It is then filled with the top cuts of pork with as many as 20 butcher’s working at the same time. The Zampone is completely on the 30th of November and then cooks for 60 hours in a special stainless steel pot. Sunday morning, at 11:00 the cooked Zampone is then offered, along with accompanying Lambrusco and Parmesan cheese, to thousands of visitors. The actual data is impressive:

Weight: 751 kg (1,652 lbs)
Length: 3.10 meters (Just over 10 ft.)
Diameter: 1.4 meters
Total cooking time: 74 hours
People served: 6,000
Consumed in: 1 hour!

This is a party! It is fun and if you have the opportunity to be in the area of Bologna for the first Sunday in December this is a must see!


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Blogger Expat Traveler said...

wow - just big is my response...

10:33 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Expat Think 6,000 people in one hour! now that is cooking.

1:36 PM


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