Two specialities from Ferrara: “Salama da sugo” and Eel

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salama da sugo di Ferrara

There are two tasty protagonists in the DOC Bosco Eliceo district’s cuisine: eel and Salama da Sugo, also called ‘salamina’ by locals.

Because of its nature of migratory fish living both in fresh and brackish waters and laying eggs in the sea, eel finds a perfect environment in the fish basins of Comacchio (Valli di Comacchio) and surroundings. There are at least a dozen of local typical dishes including eel as main ingredient; one of the most traditional is an onions, vinegar and tomatoes eel stew, also called ‘a becco d’asino’ (donkey beak) for its ease of preparation. A fatty fish such as eel should be accompanied by a fresh red wine with the right acidity like Fortana, cleansing the palate and aiding digestion.

Salamina goes very well with Fortana too. Salama da Sugo is a typical pork sausage of ancient origin which is preferably prepared during the winter months. In Ferrara it is one of the typical Christmas dishes. According to the tradition, meat is not minced but chopped and then seasoned with spices and a generous dose of red wine; someone also prefers to add a wine distillate. The mixture is stuffed into a pork bladder, tightly bound and left to age for nine moths. Before cooking, salamina is left to soak in cold water for one night in order to soften the skin. The following day the water is thrown and the sausage is hung by a strip to a wooden spoon leaning at the edge of a pot, full of boiling water, and left to cook; it is very important that the skin does not touch the pot. It should cook over very low heat for at least 5 hours. It is served after practicing a cross-shaped cut on the pointed part, so that each dining companion can take the desired amount of the sausage with a spoon. It can also be served sliced, on a bed of mashed potatoes and paired with a good Fortana of the last harvest.

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