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Old 02-02-2007, 03:42 AM   #1
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Cool Cudighi - yooper sausage?

I just heard of this a coupla days ago. I have never had one, but they sound great. I hear they are a big item at the Yooper (slang for a person from Michigans upper peninsula) pizza and sub shops, but I am in the lower penninsula, so it would be a long drive for a sandwich. They sound great though. The U.P. has some great cuisine.Served with pizza sauce, cheese, sometimes onions on a sub/hoagie roll.

The Wikipedia definition is here, and the Hormel Glossary definition is here. It is also defined here - and has a recipe for an Italian version.

So anyone ever tried 'em?

What do ya think of the recipie? I found variations calling for cinnamon, all spice and even clove in different amounts. So is it just weird doctored up sausage, or a real U.P tradition?

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Old 02-03-2007, 01:12 AM   #2
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If I had to guess ... I would say that cudighi probably existed in Italy before Michigan was ever settled, or named.

I get something very similar to the Italian cudighi at a local grocery store (Central Market) - that has butchers and they make sausages on site every day. They don't call it that - but appears to have all the ingredients from what my taste buds tell me.

Looking at the recipe for the Yopper version of the sausage here, on the same website where you got the Italian version recipe ... it's definately not "doctored up" .... it's definately played down. Sounds almost like "Johnsonville Mild Italian" sausage.

My step-daughter makes something like this at her restaurant, and I made it at home when she was a kid - when I made a big pot of Italian Gravy I would toss in 2-3 pounds of sausages to simmer for 4-6 hours in the sauce ... we would toast a sub roll, slap on a little gravy, stick in a sausage, sometimes a little red onion, then a couple slices of Mozzeralla or Provalone - then into the oven or under the broiler to melt the cheese. The Italian restaurant across the street used to make them, too (I've lived here 12 years, they've had 4 owners, 3 made sausage sandwiches - 1 only wanted to do pizze and he only lasted 2 years) ... ain't no big thing - it's just a sausage sandwich!

Now, if they used bulk sausage, made a round patty, fried it on a grill/griddle, put it on a round roll, that would be a little different.

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Old 02-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #3
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Where's Goodweed, our resident youper? He should know something about this.
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:01 PM   #4
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Alas, I'm from the Eastern side of the U.P. and we don't have that particular sandwich around here. We're more famous for our fresh-water fish and the beer batter its cooked in. We also make some darned good smoked fish and pasties as well, unless that is, you eat at my house. Then you never know what you might get. But Cudighi Sausage is new to me. I agree with Micahel. It sounds like something carried over from Itally. I would imagine that if you were to travel to Frankemuth, you would find predominantly Doiche sausages.

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Old 02-05-2007, 01:37 PM   #5
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ok not a yuper but i been there, oh ya, you bet you! this sausage is very Italian, (west yuper ville by the copper mines n all don't you know, and not unlike a sweet Italian sausage BUT not made with fennel but with the spices the swedes brung wif em for their meatballs. oh so good a sandwich you can make, you bet you!
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:08 AM   #6
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mmm Cudighi, the memories

I enjoyed this sandwich from Pasquali's (Negaunee, MI)

I found this from Wiki

A Cudighi is a spicy sausage patty sandwich, served in a long hoagie roll, with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. It is also served simply with raw onions and mustard on a roll. This sandwich is rarely encountered in the United States except in the Marquette, Ishpeming, Gwinn, and Negaunee area of Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where it can be found at almost all the local pizza and pasty shops. The word "Cudighi" is now unknown in Italy, although it seems to be derived from an old Lombard word for a salame made with bacon rind, so the recipe for what is known as "Cudighi" is likely highly specific to the Upper Peninsula. Hormel's glossary has an entry for Cudighi. The taste of Cudighi depends much on the amount of clove and cinnamon present in the mix.

there are good recipes on the web now days.

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Old 10-02-2007, 11:58 AM   #7
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Similar but different

I have read a number of threads all trying to explain what cudighi is and/or isn't. It is not Italian sausage though it is uniquely Italian due to the high number of Italian immigrants in the UP (I am born and bred though now live in Chicago). I love Italian sausage but cudighi is most definitely different.

Recipes differ from family to family (most of which are extended from the same family so there are very subtle differences) who are the actual owners of most of the bars/restaurants in the UP. When my parents were growing up, older Italian women would sell cudighis out of their homes.

Cudighi is a very dense sausage without the casing. My favorite is from Ralph's Italian Deli on US41 in Ishpeming. The Gervaci's have been serving authentic Italian specialties for several generations, so you can bet they are doing things right! They will serve it any way you might like it, though my favorite is hot (they mix red pepper flakes into the meat) with sauce and mozzarella. I have to stop or I am going to need a cold shower or visit a support group to get through this withdrawal!

Ralph's also servers pizza and all the other Italian specialties, as well as some pretty good pasties. I don't know if they still serve them, but when I was growing up, they used to sell calzones on Thursdays. I have never found a calzone that does justice to what they did/do! Give them a call and have them ship you a pound or two.

If you are looking for pizza, go to the Congress in downtown Ishpeming. Cracker thin with a nicely spiced sauce on top of the cheese. The KISS principle is definitely in affect here. They server pizza and cudighi and that's it! Paul will ship to you anywhere in the world!
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:43 PM   #8
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You can find a seasoning packet for cudighi at aldospices.com or something like that, just Google it. His site has many different recipes for using game meat such as venison. The Italian side of my family made cudighi with venison and it was great! After it has been cooked it is great cut up and served cold on crackers with cheese. The Congress Bar pizza with cudighi is wonderful! Voleworth's (not sure of spelling) Meat Co. sells it packaged in the Marquette county supermarkets, as does Angeli's (same spelling issue) Foods. Cudighi has cinnamon in it and also Chianti (Italian dry red wine). I also live away now and by the time I hit the bridge I'm salivating and have to have a Congress pizza as soon as I reach Marquette! I always take home packages of cudighi in a cooler to freeze and cook up when I get really home sick!
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Robo410 View Post
ok not a yuper but i been there, oh ya, you bet you! this sausage is very Italian, (west yuper ville by the copper mines n all don't you know, and not unlike a sweet Italian sausage BUT not made with fennel but with the spices the swedes brung wif em for their meatballs. oh so good a sandwich you can make, you bet you!
I would love an Italian sausage made without fennel!
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:21 PM   #10
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Born and raised (for a little while, anyways) in Gwynn Michigan, so Cudighi is pretty much a way of life up here. Was lookin for a good cooking forum, and joined this one just because it had at least a cudighi topic

The sausage itself doesn't taste anything like Johnsonvilles or whatever, at least to my refined UP cooking tastebuds There are few places to get good cudighi, however. I like buying the meat and making it myself, but there are a few small town meat packers that make it well.

If you haven't had one, and you'll be in the region (its really pretty, and lots to do, including a phenomenal micro brewery), I can throw out some suggestions.

A small town called republic, its about 20 miles south of Ishpeming, which is in turn 35 miles south of Marquette, has the best cudighi sandwich, and the best meat to buy hands down in the UP. Iron Mountain is a close second, but my uncle (no bias though, i have another whose cudighi I wouldn't touch) packages meat for the Maki's Mart in town. And less than a block away is the Crow Bar and Grill. Hands down, best meal for 6 dollars, ever. A pint, a huge freaking cudighi sandwich, and homemade onion rings.

The sandwich is pretty traditional, Hoagy style roll, flat cudighi patty, with a little sauce (kinda like pizza sauce, but its not), some peppers and onion, and mozzarella cheese.

But the meat itself? Best used in meatloaf, sausages, lasagna, chili, almost anything. But maybe thats because I am a Yooper

Ain't nobody lived till dey been to da UP ehh?
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