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What is Abruzzese Sausage?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Abruzzese sausage is a style of Italian dry sausage that is distinctive for its spiciness. It can sometimes be difficult to obtain the traditional product outside of Italy, although a few firms export it to select stores in other nations. Like other sausages preserved through drying, Abruzzese has a number of potential uses, including being cooked in main dishes, being offered as part of an appetizer platter, or being sprinkled on pizzas.

Fresh pork is used to make Abruzzese sausage. The pork is mixed with an assortment of regional spices, including spicy peppers, before being forced into sausage casings, which are traditionally made from the scraped intestines of pigs. The resulting sausages are cured with smoke and chilies so that they will not readily decay, making them an accessible part of the diet for much of the year. The result is a fiery sausage that complements a wide range of dishes, and it is often simmered with fava or broad beans.

The sausage comes from Abruzzo, a region of Italy located along the East-Central coast of the nation. The terrain there is fairly rugged, and both pork and lamb play major roles in the cuisine of the area. Abruzzo is also well known within Italy for its extremely spicy food, which is often paired with herb liqueurs. The main culprit behind the spiciness is peperoncino peppers, known locally as diavolinos. The food of the Abruzzo region tends to be rustic and simple, with a high focus on ingredients that are available locally.

Consumers outside of Italy who would like to sample Abruzzese sausage should consult with local specialty stores or boutique butchers. A boutique butcher is often able to order specialty products for customers, even if the butcher does not normally offer them. If the boutique butcher is Italian, he or she might already be making this sausage. Specialty stores, such as shops which specialize in Italian imports, may also be able to order this sausage for customers who express a desire for it.

Abruzzese sausage makes an excellent addition to an antipasto platter, for people who have some and aren't sure about what to do with it. Cooks can try pairing it with preserved salted cheese, such as Pecorino or Parmesan. Other preserved meats can also be used for contrasting flavors, along with preserved fish and olives. Small wedges of bread are also a great complement.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By SalamQuatre — On Sep 01, 2014

These salami are available at our FoodLion Deli. It is delicious and requires no cooking.

By Comparables — On Jun 17, 2011

I went to an Italian Restaurant when I was in Sedona Arizona that served spicy clams and angel hair. The clams were cooked with a number of herbs and spices and there were large chunks of Abruzzese sausage cooked with them. It was a fresh, tasty dish that reminded me of Paella Valencia made with chorizo and clams. I would love to learn how to duplicate this dish at home.

By Babalaas — On Jun 17, 2011

@Chicada- I would talk to your local Italian deli or specialty meat store. I can find Abruzzi sausage at the one near my apartment in New York. I like mine cut into thick slices and fried in a skillet. After cooked, I take the slices and lay them on a hard roll with a slice of Havarti and a scrambled egg. Think of it as a Jersey breakfast with a spicy twist.

By chicada — On Jun 14, 2011

I went to an upscale pizzeria that offered Abruzzo Pepperoni Sausage on their spicy pizza. It was amazingly spicy and smoky. I have never had anything like it before. Does anyone know where to find Abruzzo sausage in the United States, specifically California? I would love to buy a whole sausage to keep in my refrigerator for special occasions.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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