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Salam d'la duja

A smooth, enveloping flavor that goes straight to the heart

Local flavors
Local flavors

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Where is


28100 Novara NO, Italia (161m s.l.m.)


Salame della Duja is made from prime pork (culatello, coppa, shoulder and thigh) that is ground to a medium grain along with pancetta and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and red wine. The salami is then stuffed into beef gut and matured inside a container, covered with melted lard. In this way it is not cured in the traditional way, but is preserved by remaining soft for a long time.

In contrast,fidighina is raw liver mortadella made from lean pork, bacon, liver and spices. The greater the amount of liver, the darker the sausage becomes and the stronger the flavor. In this case, according to tradition, the grinding is fine, with salt, pepper, red wine or mulled wine and spices. Preservation under fat is done in the same way.

It is precisely the type of container used in this process that gives salam d'la duja its name: the duja or doja (Latin for dolium) is an earthenware jug that later also became widespread in glass. The Piedmont Region has included this salami in the "PAT traditional food products" naming it thus: "Salame d'la doja," thus mixing Italian and Piedmontese.

01-salame-piemonteseSalami under fat

Salame della duja and fidighina sotto grasso are the absolute protagonists of the Novara antipasto. But they are also an important ingredient in paniscia, the typical local dish made with rice, cabbage, vegetables, beans and... crumbled salami della duja (my grandfather used to put fidighina in it, for example).

Both salumi can also be cured traditionally in the air, but in the past this was not the best solution given the humid climate of this area. Indeed, this very difficulty finds a solution that once again confirms the truth of the saying "of the pig nothing is thrown away." In fact, the use of rendered pork fat inside containers then closed guaranteed a healthy storage environment for sausages and preserved their tenderness!

Soaking in pork fat brilliantly solves one problem, but poses another: how to clean the salami della duja without spreading lard everywhere? It's quickly said: there is a very simple technique that involves sort of "undressing" the salami from its casing but it is impossible to explain it in words, it must be seen and tried!

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Salami and mortadella sotto grasso (in dialect salam d'la duja and fidighina) are some mainstays of traditional Novara cuisine, so much so that you can even find them crumbled into paniscia, the typical dish. They are part of my memories!