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Coglioni di Mulo: The Mule's Balls of Gubbio

■ 17 November 2012 by James Martin

Take a little walk through a town like Gubbio, marvel at its amazing architecture, its little markets selling the fine wines of the region or select meats and salumi, and after a while you might very well think of moving there.

mule balls, coglioni di mulo pictureIf your sensibilities lie on the side of excessive politeness and you don’t know a word of Italian, you may thank your lucky stars when you walk past any one of the numerous hanging trees of salami labeled Coglioni di Mulo. How quaint, you think, without blushing, without shame.

Ah! Mule’s Balls! A specialty. Well, it’s a specialty they’re certainly focused on selling to tourists, that is.

So what’s a Mule Ball, a Coglioni di Mulo? In the salami sense, I mean. It’s a pear-shaped salame that fits nicely into your palm, as shown in the picture above.

mule balls interior pictureBut, slicing it open to eat it is another matter. Inside you’ll find a fine-grained mince of spiced pork flavored with red wine and…a nice squarish piece of lardo smack in the center.

So if you’re American and haven’t been turned off by the colorful name of this edible object, you are now undoubtedly retching over your television-doctor created Pavlovian response to a tiny bit of visible fat. Need I remind you that the Italians eating these things are likely to live 2 years longer than you on the average. Case closed.

So, Coglioni di Mulo, Mule’s Balls, the testicular joy of Gubbio and surrounding countryside (also popular in the Abruzzo). Just one of hundreds of ways to preserve your pig. Eat it in good health. Soak it in red wine if you like ‘em soft. I heard they do that, too.

Coglioni di Mulo: The Mule's Balls of Gubbio originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com Nov 17, 2012, © James Martin.

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