A miniature train, salami and imagination

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Genuineness is all down to natural elements (a combination of 60 percent pork and 40 percent beef). But the real secret is in the fire: that of burning wood during the drying phase in order to maintain a slight taste of smoke.

We’re in Sant’Olcese, a municipality in the province of Genoa, which can be reached by car or by the ‘Casella train’, the narrow train which leaves from the heart of the city and passes through Sant’Olcese. Its here that it’s worth organising a trip ‘out of town’, a picnic in the hills in search of the hidden corners of the hinterland. It’s a tempting idea, especially if combined with the rediscovery of ancient and unique flavours.

The king of Ligurian sausages

Beginning with the king of Ligurian sausages, with its distinctive dark-red colour. It should be served, when the season is right, with a crowning of bright green and sweet broad beans, ‘basanne’ for those who love tradition, and with fresh white Sardinian pecorino cheese. Or, when the bean season is over, you can enjoy it slice after slice as a natural accompaniment to the chopping board.

Sant’Olcese and the true craftsmen

Gourmet goodies at low-cost. The two producers of Sant’Olcese, Parodi and Cabella, are rightly proud of their salami. They are one in front of the other in the main street of the town, the stereotype of genuine competition. The first was born around the middle of the last century. Its activities have beenofficially documented since 1889 when Federico Parodi, a meat dealer, created a factory for the production of salami.

Here nothing has changed, because we have continued to respect tradition. We don’t consider ourselves sausage manufacturers, but true craftsmen

It’s enough to see how works is carried out in the factory to realise that everything really is hand-crafted. There is also the competitor Cabella, founded over a hundred years ago, which even counts members of the Royal Family among its clients

Mixed composition of pork and beef

What characterises this product more than any other factor is its mixed composition of pork and beef that makes it unique in the world of sausages. The beef is from adult animals from Piedmont, in particular from the Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo areas. The pork part, however, comes from both areas of Piedmont and Emilia Romagna: it makes up the fatty part of the mixture, and they are lard and bacon in particular.

The way of producing sausages has obviously changed with technological advancement, but without changing their character and flavour at all. The oldest traditions have been preserved in the production process, like that of tying the salami by hand. During drying, a wood fire is still applied today, in order to maintain the slight smoky taste. We cannot forget the natural flavours of garlic and white Polcevera wine, another rather well known local product.

Salumificio Cabella

Ph. +39 010/709809

Salumificio Parodi

Ph. +39 010 709827

Per informazioni sul Trenino di Casella


Me and Liguria: a beautiful story. I like to see it, travel through it in a rush or…

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