In Linguaglossa, Sicily, you can get your own custom made sausage
And it's awesome
My love-hate relationship Italy began a long time ago, with two, maybe three high highs and several low lows since. But there’s one thing, one segment, one domain where Italy still trumps everyone else and that’s food.
The cheapest, worst pizza in Italy can still outpizza any other pizza anywhere else. The quality of the ingredients is unparalleled. And any Nonna can easily, and quickly, put together the best meal you ever had with yesterday’s leftover. Food is a religion in Italy and in Linguaglossa, a small town at the foot of Mount Etna, making sausage is an art. Back in November, I travelled to Sicily to see for myself.
The owner of AR Sfilzi Macelleria & Salumeria, the go-to butcher in town, talks me through it and his enthusiasm is contagious. He’s talking about turning raw meat into ‘eatable’ sausage in the same way you’d expect Monet to talk you through his latest painting.
The key element, the reason d’etre of Linguaglossa’s sausage is that it is more than just a sausage. Because it’s customisable. He usually prepares two different types of sausages, apart from the ‘regular’ one: sausage with fennel and sausage with tomato and cheese, but you can have it your way. You can technically ask sausage with blackberries in it.
What they do is they throw fennel seeds (or tomato and cheese) into the mix (quite literally) and after that, they season it, let it dry and cook it. Or not. Either option works.
I can still feel the taste in my mouth. But everything else about the trip feels so far away. Probably because things can change quite quickly. As we all know.
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