The first accounts of the "salamina da sugo" date back to the 14th century and are by a certain Guidi Bonaventura who made cured meats. In 1481 Lorenzo the Magnificent received a basket of salama da sugo as a gift from Ercole (I) d'Este and thanked him in with a missive. In 1550 the great Messisbugo, who spent much of his life at the House of Este, covered various roles including being a chef and gastronome. In his life he did not fail to enhance the local cuisine and the local salamis. But in the 18th century with Domenico Vincenzo Chendi, the priest of Tresigallo, the salamina came into its own. In 1772 Antonio Frizzi, the author of "La Salameide" wrote the Poemetto Giocoso. With characteristic 18th-19th century handwriting, the sausage maker gave instructions as to how to cook the salamina: "In the morning with the same water wash the salama and then change the water and place on a low heat for about 4 hours. The salama is not to be taken out of the pan until it is time for serving at the table, so that its effect can be seen".
The salama (or salamina) da sugo is a typical sausage made of pork from the Province of Ferrara. It is made by grinding various parts of the pig, such as the tongue, liver and neck, to which various spices are added, such as cloves, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, then the mixture is aromatised with red wine. The mixture is then stuffed into a pig's bladder, with a characteristic round shape and left to age.
The salamina left to age for a minimum of 6 months, ideally 12 months, is a dish that is normally eaten in cold weather hence making it an excellent present at Christmas time. This is because the preparation begins by cleaning the salamina da sugo well, by soaking it in a bowl of cold water the night before cooking. In fact, it is left in almost boiling water for between six and twelve hours, depending on the age of the salama. It is also very important to keep the salama suspended so that it doesn't touch the walls or bottom of the saucepan, and it must always be submerged in water, by topping up with hot water when necessary.
Once it is clean, the string is to be removed and it should be wrapped in a tea cloth or cooking bags, and hung up on a stick in the middle of a large pan full of cold water.
The sausage is brought to the boil and left to cook for 4 to 7 hours according to its age.