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Sagra della Ciuìga

The ciuìga festival, discovering authentic San Lorenzo in Banale

What is the Ciuìga festival? And what is ciuìga?!

The most authentic flavour of a holiday in San Lorenzo in Banale is ciuìga, a typical Trentino product and Slow Food presidio in Trentino Alto Adige. But how is this strange salami made, which even has its own festival? It is a type of salami with 70% pork and 30% turnips, is smoked and has a decisive, pungent flavour.

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Program for the Ciuìga Festival

Program for the Ciuìga Festival

The San Lorenzo in Banale Ciuìga Festival is held at the beginning of November among the alleys, courtyards, wine cellars, and under the arcades in the town. Starting in the beginning of autumn when the pigs are butchered and the turnips ripen in the fields, the town butchers start displaying the salami that will then be celebrated during the festival along with delicious local recipes.
The program for the ciuìga festival varies from year to year but some things never change: the tastings, themed menus, and dinners outdoors and in the restaurants, the markets, street artists, entertainment for children, and carriage rides, Slow Food presidia, live music, and folk music.

Curiosities and preparation of the ciuiga

Why is it called ciuìga? In the local dialect, a ciuìga is a pine cone. When you see the shape of the salami, it's easy to see where it gets its name. A butcher from San Lorenzo is credited with inventing the ciuìga in 1875.

Today it is prepared according to the old recipe. The first step is to prepare the turnips that are sliced, cooked and pressed. The ground meat is then added and the mixture is seasoned with chopped garlic, salt, and black pepper.

Once put into the casings, they are tied and smoked according to an ancient method that takes eight days in an old location without a chimney, where the fire is also fed with a few juniper branches to give it more fragrance.

Now the ciuìga is ready for the Sagra della Ciuìgia in San Lorenzo in Banale!
Recipes with ciuìga

Recipes with ciuìga

Ciuìga can be eaten fresh after a few days of curing by boiling it in water for about 20 minutes. Local ciuìga recipes suggest pairing it with boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, thinly sliced cabbage, or polenta and sauerkraut.
If left to cure for a slightly longer period of time (from about ten days) it takes on the consistency of a salami and can be sliced like a common salami. In this case, it is traditionally paired with potatoes and thinly sliced cabbage.
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