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Ode on a Mortadella sausage July 15, 2011

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Charcutepalooza, Pork.

(with apologies to John Keats)

Thou still uneaten mix of pork meat,
Thou product of meat and chilled fat,
Emulsified sausage, who canst thus deliver
Better flavours than anything store-bought:
What additional elements haunt about thy girth
Of olives, or pistachios, or of both,
In the mixer or during cooking?
What ingredients are these? What type of pork?
What grinding needed? What struggle to mix?
What cooking time? What gluttony?

Chopped pork is good, but that ground
Better still: therefore, ye blades, grind on;
Not on the thickest blade, but, more refin’d
Grind to the thinnest blade thou has’t:
Ground pork, with pink salt; thou canst not be
Without garlic, nor can thou be without wine;
Minced fat, never, never canst thou be heated,
Though not yet mixed with meat – yet, do not grieve;
The meat will be chilled, and thou has remained cold,
Both to be at proper temperature, and ready to mix!

Ah, happy, happy mixer! that cannot move
In place, nor ever stop your blades spinning;
And, happy pork, unheated,
With added ice and other spices;
More mixing needed! More mixing needed!
For ever cool and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever mixing and for ever chilled;
And mixing fat in and still combining,
That leaves a mixture with extra pistachios and olives,
And milk powder, and properly emulsified.

What are these coming to the stove top?
To what saucepan, O mysterious cook,
Lead’st thou that mortadella wrapped in plastic,
Its mix contained within aluminum foil?
What temperature the boiling water,
Or gentle simmer with thermometer reading
Cooking meat by peaceful poaching?
And, mortadella, thy temperature at 65,
Will chilled now be; and plunged into an ice bath
To stop the cooking, for e’er more.

O mortadella! Fair attitude! with chunks
Of pistachios and olives overwrought,
With tastes of garlic and the pork;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us with your slices
As doth charcuterie: Good cold!
But also nice on pizza,
Thou shall remain, in the midst of other
Culinary disasters, a friend to all, to whom thou say’st,
“Mortadella is delicious, delicious mortadella,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.


1. Adelaide - July 15, 2011

I’m glad you apologized to Keats….
Although I do like:

“Thou, silent form, dost tease us with your slices
As doth charcuterie: Good cold!
But also nice on pizza”

The banality of the last line highlights the literary flight of the previous and subsequent stanzas in a lyrical representation of the banality of pizza itself when contrasted with higher culinary works… or something

inspiredbywolfe - July 15, 2011

“Or something” is about right.

2. cathy - July 15, 2011

What she said. Nicely done.

3. Janis Tester - July 16, 2011

Ok, I love you. This post rocked!

4. onevanillabean - July 16, 2011

Love it! So glad to see you made it with plastic wrap, and it turned out gorgeous!

inspiredbywolfe - July 16, 2011

I did have some trouble with one of the sausages – the wrap burst or melted or something and fell off in the water! Luckily the mixture had been cooking long enough by then that it held its shape for the remainder of the cooking period. I wrapped the next sausage in both plastic wrap then aluminum foil, and didn’t have any other issues.

5. Kimmy @Lighter and Local - July 16, 2011

This is so well-done, I have no words. What a great job!

6. mosaica - July 16, 2011

Fantastic, O Fabulous One 🙂

7. inspiredbywolfe - July 16, 2011

Thanks everyone for your kind comments! I had fun writing the post, so i’m so glad you like it!

8. ZucchiniBikini - July 31, 2011

Oooooo brilliant!

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