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Lucanica, An Ancient Roman Sausage From Lucania

When Miriam’s twin brother, Binyamin, returns to Alexandria in “The Bodyguard”, he can’t resist going to the games. And so, he takes advantage of the intermission to head for the refreshment stands:


I joined the stream of bozos funneling through the arch, taking advantage of the break between bouts, most to push their way to the latrines. Shoving past the bookmakers wigwagging to their regulars, I carved my way around the hundreds of sweaty bodies milling about the souvenir hawkers. Finally, I elbowed through the gate and headed toward the sausage vendors. Their stalls were easy to find; they stunk up the air with fennel and fried grease.


The sausage Binyamin had in mind was a Lucanian sausage, a rustic pork sausage brought back to Rome around 200 BCE by soldiers who had served in Lucania. Still made in many parts of the world, these sausages are peppery, spicy, and smoked.


Unlike American sausages, these and other Italian style sausages have a deep favor through their rich seasoning. If you’d like to make your own, here are the ingredients: pork tenderloin; pork belly; sheep sausage casing; pine nuts; garum (a fermented fish sauce); spices such as black pepper, cumin, and bay laurel berries; and fresh herbs such as mint, parsley, and rue.


Then, to liven up the flavor, sit down and enjoy “The Bodyguard,” a novelette in The Deadliest Returns, the newest collection of Miriam bat Isaac stories. Just click here.


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