According to tradition, the birth of Zampone and Cotechino Modena dates back to 1511. Pope Julius II's troops had long besieged Mirandola, the birthplace of the famous Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. The people of Mirandola were starving: all they had left were their pigs, which could not be left to the enemy who were now on the verge of entering the city.
One of Pico della Mirandola's cooks had an ingenious idea: "Keep the leanest meat in a casing formed from the skin of the pigs' front legs, so that it can be stored for cooking later". Thus was born the Zampone from which all sausages containing rind originated. Towards the end of the 18th century, the fame of Zampone and Cotechino reached far beyond its region of origin: for example, in the Duchy of Milan, people were already talking about the "coteghin" made in Modena. So they began to be produced in the other regions of central and northern Italy as well. But it wasn’t until 1800 that the success of Zampone and Cotechino Modena increased significantly and their consumption became widespread.
The famous composer Gioacchino Rossini was fond of it and wrote to Mr Bellentani, one of the pioneers of the large-scale production of Cotechino Modena, "I would like four Zamponi and four Cotechini, all of the most delicate quality" and Emile Zola said: "If you want joy, eat Modenese food, the Zampone gives joy to a sad soul".
.....BUT IN STEP WITH THE TIMES
Today, compared to the past, the fat and sodium content of Zampone Modena and Cotechino Modena has been significantly reduced. Moreover, they are foods with a full, rich taste which immediately give a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction.
Zampone Modena and Cotechino Modena have fewer calories than you might think: a hundred grams of these products provides about 250 calories, less than a plateful of plain pasta.
Products without lactose, without added glutamate and only with natural flavourings are some of the foods which make up a healthy, balanced diet.