Saturday, February 21, 2015
The Cudighi sandwich... Lombard-Yooper culture in Upper Michigan: Part 1
The Cudighi Sandwich
From the TV6 & FOX UP YouTube channel
The Lombard "Cudighi sandwich" ("COO-dih-gee") is to Upper Michigan, what I suppose the Sicilian "Muffuletta sandwich" is to southern Louisiana. In the Lombard language, "cudighi" means "cotechino" in Italian. Cudighi is also known as "Yooper sausage," and I like the idea of it as both "Lombard-American" and also just as "Yooper culture" in general. In the Val Camonica, cudighi is usually spelled as either codèghiì or cudighì in the Camuian dialect. The town of Ishpeming, in the video below, is nearby the city of Marquette in Upper Michigan.
The cotechino is an Italian charcuterie product, similar to salami, but requiring cooking; usually it is boiled at low heat for about four hours. Its name comes from cotica (rind), but it may take different names in the different production areas. According to tradition, it is served with lentils on New Year's Eve, because lentils—due to their shape—are 'credited' to bring money for the coming year.
It is prepared by filling the natural casing with rind, pork meat (usually of secondary choice), and fat mixed with salt and spices; in industrial production, nitrites and nitrates are added as preservatives.
Varieties of cotechino
The cotechino Modena is an Indicazione Geografica Protetta-IGP product, meaning its recipe and production are preserved under the Italian law.
Four Italian regions have so far declared cotechino a traditional food:
Lombardy: cotechino (Cremona, Bergamo, Mantua, Pavia)
Trentino: pork cotechino
Veneto: recognises seven different products: coeghin nostran of Padua; coessin co la lengua of Vicenza, coessin of Vicenza, coessin of Val Leogra, coessin in onto of Vicenza, coessin co lo sgrugno, cotechino di puledro
Irpinia: cotechino pezzente
Cudighi tradition continues in Ishpeming
From the ABC 10 UP YouTube channel
While the origins of the cudighi can be traced back to Northern Italy, the sandwich itself has taken on a life of its own in Marquette County.