Cudighi pronunciation: (/ˈkʊdəɡi/)
What I think is peculiar and particularly interesting about the Cudighi sandwich is that it’s an Italian original, which can only be found in the state of Michigan, USA. Very much like the Jibarito, which is a Puerto Rican sandwich created in Chicago.
The Cudighi is a patty of Italian sausage served on a hard roll with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, sometimes with grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms, native to the upper peninsula of Michigan, particularly in Marquette County. The first historical sighthing on the sandwich goes back to when it was sold in northern Michigan by Italian immigrants in 1936. Mustard and onions was originally the sandwich’s main stars. Using tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese as toppings became popular after World War II.
Original Cudighi Sandwich Toppings
The Cudighi sausage is very specific and unique type of Italian sausage that most likely descended from the Italian Cotechino sausage and the Italian word cotica. Cotechino is an old Lombard word for fresh sausages made from pork, fatback, and pork rind. Cudighi or Cudeghi is the eastern Lombard dialect word.
The sausage is familiar to a very small geographic location. The Iron Mountain, Michigan area is populated by many Italians that settled here. Many came from Lombardy, the Northern regions of Italy which is located around the Austrian border, and their cooking was greatly influenced by Austria and France. Of course, Northern Italian cooking is pretty different than the more popular Southern Italian cuisine. It has sweeter sauces and most of the recipes do not use fennel. When it comes to the Cudighi sandwich, the taste of it varies a lot with the amounts of clove and cinnamon used in the sausage mix.
Homemade Cudighi Sandwich Recipe
Everyone who makes cudighi has their own special recipe. No two kitchens make the exact same sandwich. The combination of variety and tradition helps preserve the cudighi’s mysterious roots.
How To Make
6 pounds pork
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 to 1 cup dry red wine
6 garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
- Have the pork coarse ground and don’t trim the fat. (make sure you leave around 25% fat). Mix the following ingredients together: salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Work into ground pork with your hands.
- Combine wine, cinnamon sticks, garlic and cloves. Boil this mixture for 5 minutes and let cool. Strain this mixture, reserving the liquid and work the liquid into the meat.
- Let meat season in refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Where To Buy Cudighi
As stated in the beginning of this post, this stuff is pretty hard to buy already made unless you live in Michigan. If you do though, here’s a quick list on where to buy Cudighi meat in Michigan.
- Rodney’s Pizza (Gwinn, MI)
- Thunder Bay Inn (Big Bay, MI)
- Wayside Bar (Ishpeming, MI)
- Ralph’s Italian Deli (Ishpeming, MI)
- Lawry’s Pasties (Ishpeming, MI)
- Lawry’s Pasties (Marquette, MI)
- Tino’s Pizza (Negaunee, MI)
- Vango’s (Marquette, MI)
- Big Bon’s Exotic Dance Club (Mc Farland, MI)
- Congress Pizza (Ishpeming, MI)
- Mama Mia’s (Ishpeming, MI)
- Irene’s Pizza (Baraga, MI)
- Paisano’s (Negaunee, MI)
- Gay Bar (Gay, MI)
- Jasper Ridge Brewery (Ishpeming, MI)
- Ambassador Bar (Houghton, MI)
- U.P. Chuck’s Bar (Kenton, MI)
- The Pasta Shop (Marquette, MI)
- Casa Calabria (Marquette, MI)
- Pasquali’s (Negaunee, MI)