It is a cold cut meat, meant to be served thinly sliced with no further cooking. The slices are pink to dark-red, speckled with large bits of white fat. It can be look at as a relatively coarsely-textured but soft version of Mortadella. The sausage has a spicy smell.
The salami comes in a round or oblong shape, with a bay leaf pressed into the centre. It will be about 2 to 3 inches (6 to 7 cm) thick, and about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) wide, weighing about 1 to 2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kg.)
The base ingredient is lean pork from the leg and / or shoulder of a pig, mixed with meat from the neck and stomach and fat from the cheek or belly. The meat is ground somewhat coarse, and seasoned with herbs, spices, sugar, salt, etc. The combination of seasonings varies by maker. Other ingredients will include wine, sodium nitrate and ascorbic acid, along with hot pepper. The sodium nitrate acts as a preservative to prevent botulism, and gives the sausage its pink meat colour.
The mixture is put into a natural intestine casing, then salted, then folded into a tight round or oblong shape, with indents on the top and a bay leaf in the middle. It is then tied up with string to hold the shape, and the surface is pierced to aid drying.
It is dried for 4 to 5 days at 64 to 68 F (18 – 20 C), then cured at 53 to 57 F (12 – 14 C) for around 45 days. Some makers do this curing step for up to 120 days.
Mortadella della Lunigiana is made by various sausage makers in the provinces of Massa-Carrara (the northern-most province of Tuscany) and Lucca (just south of that), both provinces of Tuscany on the Ligurian Sea.
Specifically, in Lucchesia in Lucca (particularly in the villages of Ghivizzano, Pian di Coreglia, SS. Annunziata and Villa Soraggio), and in Garfagnana (in the Valley of Serchio region) in Lucca.
Production centres on Lunigiana (a swath roughly in the centre of Massa-Carrara, incorporating the towns of Aulla, Bagnone, Casola in Lunigiana, Comano, Filattiera, Fivizzano, Fosdinovo, Licciana Nardi, Mulazzo, Podenzana, Pontremoli, Tresana, Villafranca in Lunigiana and Zeri.)
1,750 pounds (800 kg) are made in Massa-Carrara annually. 440 to 660 pounds (200 to 300 kg) are made annually in Luca (2004 figures. These figures do not include quantities made at home for home consumption.)
Lunigiana.ms.it. Servizi agricoltura. “Mortadella della Lunigiana.” Retrieved November 2006 from http://www.lunigiana.ms.it/root/servizi/agricoltura/prodottitipici.asp?prodotto=11.
Mortadella della Lunigiana (Mondiola della Garfagnana) – Toscana – Salumi e Carni – Suini. Retrieved November 2006 from http://www.prodottitipici.com/prodotto/4190/Mortadella-Della-Lunigiana-Mondiola-Della-Garfagnana.htm
Toscana insolita. Mondiola della Garfagnana. Retrieved November 2006 from http://www.toscanainsolita.it/gastro/pgas2.php?epid=29.