Frissurata is a spicy Italian pork dish, and isn't your typical Italian meat dish. While Italy is famous for foods like olive oil, cheese, wine, and cured meats, it's not very well known for spices.
Italian cuisine, especially in the north, prizes fresh herbs such as oregano, rosemary, and basil. While these flavors are also common in southern Italy it's much more common to find things like pistachios, spicy peppers (peperoncini), and red pepper (pepe rosso).
This dish takes the spice from the south and turns up the heat.
Frissurata, a Spicy Italian Pork
Frissurata is a very traditional spicy Italian pork originally from Calabria, Italy. It uses lots of pepe rosso which gives it a bright yet earthy flavor. It's without a doubt one of our favorite Calabrian dishes!
One of our favorite things about Italian food is that you can find different versions of a dish just one town over!
For example, when we went to the butcher Giuseppe asked them to select cuts for frissurata. As she reached for an unfamiliar hunk of meat, Giuseppe stopped her and asked, “wait, how do you make it?”.
She said her family makes it with tomato sauce, almost like a ragu and serves it with pasta. But she’s from over near Catanzaro. And this is when we laughed and were reminded that Italy has a typical food every few kilometers (no really).
Our family makes it a little differently. It's not cooked in a tomato sauce but the pieces are juicy tender and fall off the bone.
When To Make Frissurata
This spicy Italian pork is usually made in January with the annual slaughter of the pig. It uses fatty cuts of pork. But today it's often served all winter long making its debut at Christmas (natale).
Who Makes This Dish
Frissurata is usually made by the matriarch or the best cook in the family (so the matriarch). It's requires a big of precision to get the pork to melt just in the right way.
Usually Giuseppe's Zia makes this dish. Her house smells like spicy peppers the entire day and it's truly intoxicating!
You don't typically find this dish out at a restaurant, it's more considered family food which is made at home in the winter and during holidays such as Christmas or Easter.
How to Make Frissurata,
You'll need pork, pork fat, pepe rosso, and a few other spices and herbs. This dish does take a few hours to cook so make sure you have enough time set aside to let it bubble away on the stove. But don't veer too far from the stove, you'll need to stir somewhat regularly.
Find the full recipe here.
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