Ever wonder why it’s called Genoa salame?

We are concluding a week that included two national holidays: Pasquetta, or Little Easter, on Monday, and the Festa della Liberazione, April 25th on Friday. How will we make it through next week? There’s only one national holiday: Thursday is May 1st, or Labor Day!

Here in my neck of the woods (Liguria), April 25th is celebrated by eating a local delicacy, salame di Sant’Olcese, with fave or fresh beans.Fave-e-SalameIt is such a lovely springtime tradition! And fun to eat – getting those little fava beans out of the long pod keeps your hands busy while a good conversation ensues! Sant’Olcese is the hometown to Liguria’s most famous insaccato, those cold cuts that are ‘put into a sack’ – once upon a time, it was pig’s intestine.

Sant’Olcese takes their salame seriously, and every year they have a sagra, which is a local feast day – usually somewhat sacred, somewhat profane (food is always involved!)-  for the salame and fava beans.sagra-salame-fave-sant'olcese-genovaIt’s an all-day affair, with gastronomic stands, as the sign says. Sant’Olcese is a small town in the Valpolcevera valley that stretches out behind Genoa. And here they like to taste their fava and salame with a little pecorino cheese, a classic complement, along with a glass of good red wine.

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And while we’re on the subject of Liguria and things put into a sack, what about this Genovese specialty called cima? Ever try it?

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