'The Zampina di Sammichele: much more than just a sausage'.
The speciality of il butcher Mannarino is the now well-known Apulian 'bombette pugliesi', yet the succulent meat rolls are not the only Apulian meat recipe you can find in our butcher's shop, quite the contrary.
Among the wide selection of our meats, there is one dish that may seem niche but attracts gourmets from all quarters. We are talking about the Zampina of Sammichelea traditional sausage that has been sweeping the hearts of the people of Bari and beyond for generations. In fact, if this curious speciality originated in Sammichele di Bari, today it has spread throughout Puglia and in more recent times is also immigrated to Milan!
This is minced beef seasoned with dried tomatoes, pecorino cheese, fresh basil, salt and pepper. The minced meat is then stuffed into a casing usually made of lamb or kid. Its savoury and tender taste has inspired poets and writers since its discovery in 1600. At that time, shepherds used to make the Zampina di Sammichele with sheep meat from sheep that had not given birth, then added breadcrumbs, cheese and wild thyme. The dish is so deeply rooted in tradition that the founder of the Museum of Rural Civilisation in Sammichele, Dino Bianco, titled the following poem to the Zampina:'"Among its coils, tender warm, I lose myself
delicate flavour, of pasture
wheat from the hills, the Murgia, and sage grass
of the ancient sheep-track, comes rocking, the flock
and I dream for your love, placid countryside
as he turns, from the embers, a white cloud.
In your coils, warm and gentle, I lose myself
and for your love, you dream of ash, sweet sour
filled with floral cretaglia
O Barbarossa, tinkling suave
and placid evening
In your coils, tenderly warm, I feel blissful'.
- Dino Bianco, Zampina, 1969 -
Now that we have ascertained that it is not literally a trotter, the question arises: where does the name of this sausage come from? It seems that the name Zampina di Sammichele derives not so much from the shape of the dish as from that of the spit on which it is cooked. This spit, which is long and thin, ends in the classic 'y' shape to rotate it during cooking and that is why, by similarity, it was called zampina!
In short, the Zampina di Sammichele is a truly impressive dish that our butchers know how to prepare with all the experience and care that such goodness deserves.Now you really have no more excuses not to run to the nearest butcher's!
"Like the closest?" You may be wondering... Easy!
As of today, the Mannarino doubles and you can also find us at Via Carlo Tenca 12, Repubblica area, in addition to the now historic venue in Piazza de Angeli.
"May the Zampina be with you!"