At the beginning of the sixteenth century, at the court of Pico della Mirandola - besieged by the troops of Pope Julius II della Rovere - they had to slaughter all the pigs to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. In order to preserve the minced meat, it used to be stuffed into pig's legs: hence the birth of Zampone, the pride of the cuisine of Modena and the king of tables set for Christmas and New Year's Eve. Remember that it goes perfectly with lentils, legumes that bring so much abundance and prosperity that already in Roman times they were given away in leather bags in order to turn into money.
The zampone has a paw shape precisely because it is stuffed into the "sock" of the foot. It is medium-grained and it has a light color due to the presence of rind and cheek lard with meat. Immediately the delight of its aroma inebriates the senses and upon tasting it amazes for its texture: crumbly, soft and "gelatinous" at the same time with an unmistakable rich, round flavor.
Pairing and Wines
Zampone loves stewed legumes, especially lentils, but it is also perfect with mashed potatoes that soften and enrich its texture with its velvety softness. Spinach with Parmigiano Reggiano completes the dish.
There are several red wines that go well with the zampone, but Lambrusco is undoubtedly the most interesting; its freshness perfectly balances the richness of the dish.