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The Feast-day of the Madonna della Salute Italiano Français deutsche español

The castradina

The Festa della Salute perfectly expresses the lagoon city's history and tradition: it is in this spirit that you have to understand the tradition of eating castradina on November 21.

MontoneIt is a tribute to the loyalty of the Dalmatians who, during Venice's long plague-induced isolation, were the only state to provide Venice with food. However, they could only bring what they had to hand: mutton, which was readily available in that region. And so during those seemingly never-ending eighteen months of isolation the Venetians ate almost nothing else.

This is why, in memory of that trying time, the tradition of eating castradina on November 21 is maintained to this day.

Piatto di castradina Recipe

Chop a leg of salted and smoked mutton into pieces and leave it to boil for about two hours. After the first half-hour of cooking, throw away the water (and the fat), replace it and continue to boil. Then add some Savoy cabbage, previously chopped and browned in a pan with plenty of onion. Continue cooking for another hour. Add salt and pepper.

It is an extremely tasty dish: it is advisable to let your guests know what you are cooking, because its strong flavour is not to everybody's taste.

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