The cotechino (//; Italian: [koteˈkiːno]) is an Italian large pork sausage, similar to salami, but requiring cooking; usually it is boiled at low heat for about four hours. Its name comes from cotica (rind), but it may take different names in the different production areas. According to tradition, it is served with lentils on New Year's Eve, because lentils—due to their shape—are 'credited' to bring money for the coming year.
It is prepared by filling the natural casing with rind, pork meat (usually of secondary choice), and fat mixed with salt and spices; in industrial production, nitrites and nitrates are added as preservatives.
Varieties of cotechino
The cotechino Modena is an Indicazione Geografica Protetta-IGP product, meaning its recipe and production are preserved under the Italian law.
Four Italian regions have so far declared cotechino a traditional food:
- Lombardy: cotechino (Cremona, Bergamo, Mantua, Pavia)
- Molise: cotechino
- Trentino: pork cotechino
- Veneto: recognises seven different products: coeghin nostran of Padua; coessin co la lengua of Vicenza, coessin of Vicenza, coessin of Val Leogra, coessin in onto of Vicenza, coessin co lo sgrugno, cotechino di puledro
- Irpinia: cotechino pezzente