Sunday, March 05, 2017

Cudighi an Upper Peninsula delicacy

Frequent readers of my blog know that I love the UP and the food served here.   Lately, I've been on a mission to master cudighi which is a spicy Italian sausage that can be bought in links or served as a sandwich on a long, hard roll, often with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. Although it originated in Italy, it is now primarily served in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.   I like it in marinara sauce served with pasta.

But how to make it?   Whenever I'm in the Keweenaw, I get some at  Pat's IGA in Hancock or Calumet.   This is all I had to come by:

That's not a lot to go on, so I searched the internet.   I found a recipe in the fb group"Yooper Pasty", and then I found another from a generous woman nicknamed the "Venison Vixon" and then I found a kind soul that posted his recipe from the Gwinn cookbook called "Pete's Cudighi".   After much iteration, I think I found out the spice blend that tastes the best.

Cudighi Spice Blend

3 T.table salt
1 T. ground black pepper
1 T. nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 t, mace
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. paprika
1/2 t ground ginger
1 T. garlic powder
1/2 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. cinnamon

Mix these seasonings together in a canning jar with a lid.   Add  1 1/2 T per 2 lb of ground pork (or 1 lb ground pork and 1 lb ground turkey)  and 1/2 c. red wine and mix thoroughly.   Refrigerate for a day, and then use it to make a cudighi sandwich or as meat for marinara sauce or meatballs.    To make the sandwich, brown a patty of cudighi, and top with grilled mushrooms, onions and marinara sauce.   Put on some Italian bread and melt some mozzarella on top.   Delicious!


Unknown said...

Real Gwinn, MI Cudighi does not contain any Oregano, or Ground Ginger. I have the original recipe that was handed down, under strict confidentiality to me while at a Deer Camp near Gwinn, by an old Italian gentleman, who brought the recipe with him to America, from the Mountains of Northern Italy. Now that he has passed, I'm sure that I am the only one (outside of immediate family) to possess the original recipe, which I had to swear to my friend, that I would never sell or share with anyone in the U.P. Over the years, I have made numerous batches to share with my family and friends. There have been several recipes, all claiming to be the "Original Gwinn Cudighi", including one sold in Gwinn itself, but rest assured, it is not the original.

Michael Jaworski
South Bend, IN

KayakChickee said...

I'm going to make this this weekend. It will be a nice change of pace from turkey.

Unknown said...

After you make it, form some into a patty & top it with a slice of Provolone Cheese, Maranara sauce & enjoy a glass of Red Wine with it!!!!

Tod said...

For the best flavor let the mix sit longer than 1 day. 4-5 days is good, but 4-5 days and then freezing it for at least a month is best.

Min said...

So you swore you wouldn’t share with anyone in the UP...I’ve lived in Utah for over half my life now! I’ll swear to keep it a secret, no one here even knows what it is! (Worth a shot, eh?). Happy Christmas. ��

Hauskapoika said...

Michael, are you, or any of the old man's family in any business related to Cudighi?
If not, it makes no sense to hide the "original recipe". Have you asked the man's
immediate relatives about the recipe? Have you asked their permission to reveal the
"original recipe"? Frankly, if nobody in the family, or you, are in the Cudighi related business, there is no reason not to share it other than a "promise" made to a man who is
no longer here. Why not perpetuate the "real thing"? If you won't release this "secret recipe" to anyone, you can say you have the "secret recipe" all you want, but that raises serious doubts that the "secret recipe" even exists, and it points to a "secret
recipe" that you, yourself, may have created.

Unknown said...

I have even traveled to Gwinn to try and find any living realitives without any success. Some day, I will pass this recipe on to my Nephews with the ok to share it. But for now, I must keep my promise.

Unknown said...

Not knowing if you do or do not have a commercial interest in producing this, I cannot honor your request at this time. Sorry and Happy New Year!!9

Unknown said...

I don’t have a commercial interest, I’m just hungry and 1700 miles away from any Cudighi at all. 😳. I have an old family recipe for pasties from a friend. I love cooking and the food of my homeland! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I don’t doubt the story other than there isn’t one “original” recipe. Families from different towns also have their own recipe passed down from the originals from Italy. I have seen several variations published including this one.

Anonymous said...

This recipe sounds great, but: Hey Michael, let's be realistic, I doubt that anyone is going to make a gazillion dollars commercially exploiting your secret recipe if you were to reveal it -- that's not how regional tastes work. Cheers.
Canadian Jay

Quig said...

I’ve had cudighi from the Gwinn super market, it’s the best that I’ve had.

Anonymous said...

You should share it with at least one person that you trust to keep it a secret or like so many wonderful old recipes, it will be gone when you are. It should be passed on in your family.