Zampone Modena. Joy to a sad soul.
The birth of the Zampone is unanimously traced to 1511.
At that time, the troops of Pope Julius II Della Rovere besieged Mirandola, near Modena: the homeland of Giovanni Pico, a faithful ally of France. By the end of Mirandola’s siege, they were starving. The only thing left was their pigs. Not shooting them down would have been a mistake: it meant giving the pigs as a gift to the enemy whom was already at the city’s gates.
The right idea came to one of the cooks of Pico della Mirandola, “Lets slaughter the animals, and put the leaner meat in a casing made of the skin of its legs. So it will not rot, and we could conserve it. So to cook it later”. And so the Zampone was born. Its original shape consecrated the fortune of this product for the following centuries.
Towards the end of the 18th century in the collective gastronomic imaginary the Zampone Modena replaced (together with the equally famous Cotechino) the yellow sausage which had already made Modena famous during the Renaissance. The 1800 consecrated the large-scale success of the product, as evidenced by the writings of the Roman Gastronome Vincent Agnoletti and numerous literary testimonies.