Tag: Goose

Mortara goose salami – Sale & Pepe – Italian Cuisine

Mortara goose salami - Sale & Pepe

Mortara (PV) goose salami comes from the encounter between two cultures: the peasant traditions of Lomellina with those of Jewish community which settled in the Mortara area at the end of the fifteenth century. It was Ludovico Sforza, called il Moro, to allow Jews fleeing from Eastern Europe to settle in these lands of water and rice, where the presence of geese was numerous since the Middle Ages.

Geese: the Lomellina pig
Easy to raise (they are practically omnivorous), for a very poor economy they were a real resource, from which everything could be obtained, such as from pigs: feathers for stuffing, pens for writing but above all fat and fresh or preserved meat for table. A gastronomic tradition in which the Jewish community, which he did not eat pork for religious reasons, was integrated at best: the consumption of goose intensified and the butchers began to prepare cold cuts and greaves for newcomers.

Mortara salami PGI
The first products were completely devoid of pork, which was then added over time up to the Mortara salami we know today: cooked and stuffed in goosebumps, in the shape of a neck or tubular, it is made of mixed meats (a third goose, one third of lean pork pulp and one third of fat parts of pork), flavored with salt, pepper and natural flavors. Marked byIgp, is made according to the traditional recipe even by producers who do not adhere to the consortium and is celebrated every year by Festival that takes place at the end of September, with the historical procession in Renaissance costumes of the times of the Sforza and the Palio between the districts.

100% goose or Ecumenical salami
In addition to the IGP salami, there is that of pure goose, today called "ecumenical" or "of peace" because it can be consumed by all three monotheistic religions. It is included in the list of Traditional Agri-food Products (PAT) of Lombardy and among those ofSlow Food Ark of Taste. It is a raw salami, made with lean meats and goose lard, tanned with salt, spices and natural flavors; stuffed into the skin of the neck, it is aged for 3-5 months and has a strong flavor. "To make a salami weighing about 1.5 kg, you need a whole goose: this is why it is a prized salami (it costs about twice as much as cooked) but not very common", he explains. Davide Gallina of the farm L'oca di Sant'Albino. As in all of Lomellina, here the palmiped reigns supreme: raised outdoors, respecting animal welfare, it is fed only with company grains.

The other goose products
The lean meat of the goose also produces bresaola, salamelle, cacciatorini, prosciuttini, paté and more. "The cooked salami is pink, has a delicate aroma and a soft consistency (the slice tends to fall apart); the flavor is soft and sweet, with spicy notes", adds Davide Gallina. "It is consumed like cold appetizer or, heated in a water bath for 15 minutes, such as second dish, paired with mashed potatoes or chickpeas with potatoes. It is also used for white sauce, sautéed with oil, wine and rosemary, excellent for first courses ", concludes Gallina.

Goose salami in the kitchen
Salami is also ideal in risotto, also combined with cheese and, among the newest ideas, it is proposed in Japanese uramaki (rice rolls with raw fish or other) from Nicolino gastronomy of Mortara. Small companies The production of Mortara goose salami is not very widespread, limited to Lomellina and the lower Novara area: it is entrusted to family businesses, which sell in internal outlets, in local shops or in farmers' markets. Consumption is concentrated above all during the festival period and at Christmas. Other suitable areas are Friuli and Veneto.

January 2021
Marina Cella

Ever tried goose cotechino? – Italian Cuisine

Ever tried goose cotechino?

Pure goose cotechino does not exist. Or rather, there is only one, the Jovial, the only pure goose cotechino. In this period the cotechino cannot be missing: it is the symbol of our Christmas tradition and is always particularly appreciated. But lifestyles change and you would like to surprise your guests with a different cotechino: just search the web to find a goose cotechino where, however, the percentage of goose meat is really low and pork is instead predominant, but 20% goose is certainly not enough to transform a pork cotechino into a goose. Cotechini in which the lightness and elegance typical of goose meat is not found because the pig is too aggressive and completely destroys the unique characteristics of the goose.

The name cotechino derives from the use of pork rinds in the dough. We therefore refer to the cuts used in production. And one of these, the rinds, characterized the product and also gave it its name. And then in a dough of pure goose as in which there is no pork and therefore there are no rinds, why call it cotechino? To recall a soft and gelatinous product of this period studied for five years by a craftsman from Oca Sforzesca, a specialized company in the Vigevano area: if there are no rinds, how can we obtain the cotechino structure? By combining different goose cuts with different cooking techniques.

Thus was born the Gioviale, a pure goose without pork, 100% Made in Italy, traditional in respect of the best recipes of Vigevano and without swallowing (gavage). Light and fragrant thanks to the use of only goose meat, soft and basically gelatinous thanks to the special vacuum cooking, it is ready for use in a comfortable vacuum-sealed aluminum bag to be easily taken in a water bath.

The goose of Lomellina – La Corte dell'Oca – Italian Cuisine

The goose of Lomellina - La Corte dell'Oca

The goose, an integral part of the Lomellina diet. We are going to cover its history and local products

"Gioachino, why did you dedicate your whole life to the goose?"
"It is a childhood memory, as a child we always went to graze geese on the banks of the ditches, in the middle of the fields".
The house of Gioachino Palestro is completely full of geese: inside, outside, live, dead, in ceramics, in plastic; in glass, in the flesh, sausages. In fact one could not speak of Lomellina goose without him, because nobody knows this palmipede better. But the goose is inextricably linked to all the inhabitants and to the territory of Lomellina, this region in the southwest of Lombardy that has always been characterized by a strong agricultural vocation. And at the base of this vocation, along with rice and frogs, there is the goose, present here certainly already from the beginning of the nineteenth century, when every family had at least a couple in the garden. There is a local saying that reads: "If we have wine and goose, you can also snow".

Lomellina goose

The breed present in Lomellina is the Bianca Romagnola, one of the oldest, as well as more fruitful and laying hens. Think that when they go in love, in May, they have about 6 reports a day! At the same time it is one of the most active and destructive animals there is, so much so that in the past it was held precisely so that it kept clean undergrowth and ditch banks: "Where she passes, she leaves nothing", tell the farmers. "Eat everything, rice, herbs, corn … Looks like Attila!" For the same reasons, in fact, they also tried to prohibit it: a municipal document of 1833 reports the ban on grazing geese "Because they do damage to crops and vegetable gardens". But the goose in Lomellina has always remained, also because here it has found its habitat; its presence has continued over time thanks to the arrival of the Jews, which around 1500 were confined to the area. Thus, we can imagine that the goose is certainly present in Lomellina well before the nineteenth century, and the presence of the Jewish community has certainly contributed to the maintenance of this animal. Today, for obvious reasons and changing times, geese are no longer so widespread in gardens, but they are far from being extinct.

Goose in the kitchen

The goose is an integral part of the diet in Lomellina, where it is traditionally eaten between autumn and winter. The most common way is in the dishes that maintain its simplicity, allowing you to better enjoy its meat: roast primarily, braised, in wet, to the oven, filled (all). Alternatively there is a winter classic, the kosher version of the cassoeula, or the ragò d’oca, which differs only in the presence of goose meat instead of pork. But basically "here hunger has always sharpened ingenuity", so there are various recipes, even different and innovative, from family to family. Gioachino, for example, also prepares it in the lean fillets with Breme onions, simply by blanching the thigh in the oil, blending it with a little wine and then cooking it for about an hour with the onions. Where is it? At the Court of the Goose.

The Court of the Goose

In 1988 Gioachino Palestro opened the Court of the Goose, right under his house, animated by a healthy enthusiasm of wanting to recover ancient recipes of Lomellina, as well as creating a sort of reference point for the White Romana goose. They were years in which agriculture and local products certainly did not have the importance of today. Yet the Court of the Goose is not born and has never been a restaurant, but, as he says, "this is a big mess": in reality the Court of the Goose is a meeting place, where to breathe the air of a time, where to invite friends and organize dinners by reservation for small groups and where he always takes care of the goose. Its main task is first to select the best geese from breeders and check them before birth; then slaughter them, work them (directly on his patio) and produce excellent products that he distributes almost everywhere, even at home.

Goose based products

In addition to the goose breast, the melted goose fat and the liver mortadella, among Gioacchino's products there is the torcione, or a raw and cleaned fatty liver, also present in the version of free range rooster, or in the case in which the geese in the last six days of life have eaten figs (which arrive directly from Calabria). Recall that it is now illegal, fortunately, any practice of fattening induced geese, so the animal fattens naturally, for other even in total respect of the IGP protocol.
The only product to be part of the specification is the known one Salca d’Oca PGI of Mortara, where every September is celebrated, even if Gioachino is trying to bring other goodies back. This sausage requires cooking before being consumed; it is prepared with lean goose meat, fattening and addition of pork meat, stuffed with aromas in goose bumps. There is also the Kosher version, that is, only with thinly sliced ​​goose meat with a knife and stuffed by hand into the skin of the animal's neck, which is no coincidence that it is a typical product of Jewish culture, alternative to that prepared with pork.
Another great product of the area is the Marbré d’Oca di Mortara, which instead has the De.C.O., made with goose and pork and salted pork tongue, all minced with a knife, adding salt, pepper and natural flavorings and then marinating in marsala wine. After cooking, add seared and peeled pistachios and black truffle pieces; the mixture obtained is poured into molds and “gelatinato” with the cooking sauce, served cold, in cubes, as an appetizer.

Needless to say, perhaps, that in the past they also prepared down jackets, jackets and cushions with its feathers, then over time replaced by less expensive and easier to work and find materials, albeit of much lower quality.

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