LINGUISTIC WINDOW

 

 SPEZZANO ALBANESE

                       

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Via Nazionale, 284 (87019) Spezzano Albanese (Cs) Italy         T.:+39 / (0)981/953.284 e.mail: sl.spezzano@virgilio.it

                                         

                                                       

            

 

   

Gelatine

 

Ingredients: tongue, ears, mouth, tail and trotters, 10 spoons of vinegar, bay leaves, a clove of garlic.

Cut the various parts of the pig into pieces.

Boil them in a large saucepan. When cooked, strain the meat and add the bay leaves, the garlic and a little broth. Mix and place in  jars. Seal the jars.

This happened . . .

 

 

5 January 1867 Agostino Ribecco, a poet who was part of the Italo-Albanian Romantic movement, was born in Spezzano Albanese.

 

17 January 1468 Giorgio Kastriota Skanderbeg died in Alessio of malarial fever. He was a great Albanian leader and fought against the Turks and led the first Albanian refugees to Italy.

 

24 January 1881 King Umberto I passed through  Spezzano by train.

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January

In January, in the depths of winter, the scenery around Spezzano has a particular beauty.

The olive trees and  other evergreen plants turn a duller green while the other trees, leafless at this time of year, and the ploughed fields, are tinged with brown. The fallen leaves are  reddish and golden-yellow. In the distance, the snow covered peaks of the Pollino mountains encircle the town.

When it snows, the town takes on  a surreal aspect because the beauty of the snow, which covers everything, reveals unexpected shapes and colours of well-loved places.

In Spezzano a typical tradition was the ritual killing of pigs, which was important for the local economy. Every part of the pig was used in Arbëreshe cooking and often preserved in various ways to overcome hard times without food. Every family used to rear a pig. At the appointed time the pig was taken from its sty, tied up and put on a sturdy bench  The pig was stabbed through  the carotid artery and allowed to die slowly. Its blood was used with other ingredients to make a sort of cream called sanxhieri.

Today isolated cases of this ritual still exist but  pork is always readily available and pork products of good quality are industrially produced. Typical sausages are made using the shoulder meat which is minced, salted and seasoned with black pepper or chilli pepper. The meat is then forced into the  thin intestines, pricked with a fork and tied tightly with string.

The soppressate, a kind of sausage, are made using the larger intestines and loin meat minced and seasoned and then pressed for a few days. Arbëreshe cookery uses drudhezit, the remaining parts of the pig  (bones, meat and fat) preserved in jars, and piftia (See below).

 

Traditional food

Sausage with greens

 

Ingredients: 1 kg of sausage, 2 kg of greens, 1 chilly pepper, 1 clove of garlic, olive oil, salt

Wash the greens, place them in a frying pan with the oil, the crushed garlic and the chilly pepper. Cook over a low heat. When the greens are almost cooked add pieces of sausage.