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Zimino Sassarese

A typical dish from Sassari and Porto Torres and northern Sardinia, Zimino is a roast of barbecued veal offal: an ideal delicacy for meat lovers and summer grilling.

'Offal' in this case would sound like 'generic': a good butcher from Sassari (mazziddaggiu) would explain to you, however, how some parts are essential for the Sassarese zimino while being perfectly useless for other uses.

The components are divided into two fractions: the 'white zimino', sections of the small intestine, (Riccioli) Thyme, (Primo Latte) Rectum, (Cannaguru) and the 'red zimino', which includes Liver, (Figgaddu) Heart, (Gori) and Diaphragm (Parasangu).

The components of the two fractions of the zimino, white and red, are carefully cleaned, especially the intestines, and placed on the grill to cook gently, to slowly melt the fat and stirring the embers from time to time. Once all the components are cooked to perfection, the zimino is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, then cut into pieces and distributed to the diners, to be eaten exclusively with the hands...as is the tradition of Sardinian shepherds.

Its origins come from Pisan and Genoese domination and perhaps have roots in the Arab world.

The activity of preparing zimino and gathering in groups to eat it is called 'ziminadda'. The zimino had been banned in 2001 from the tables of the Sassaresi, due to the ban on marketing it because of the well-known events linked to the 'mad cow' disease. But finally after a stop of more than a decade, this Sassarese dish returned 'free' to be enjoyed in 2015.

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