Now anyone who has spent any decent amount of time in Italy has seen these hanging around:
Coglioni is a vulgar word for testicles, and a mulo is, of course, a mule. Ass's bollocks. Mmm, appetizing.
Knowing the Italian (and particularly Roman) habit for eating any and every part of the animal (someday I'll explain what pajata is) and their lack of qualms about consuming equines (yes, they eat horse here, there is even babyfood made of horse!) I wouldn't have been surprised if the label was literal, although they do seem a little big. Luckily I read fine print: puro suino, pure swine. Ah, that makes it much better, doesn't it?
(For those interested: coglioni di mulo is the popular name of a type of mortadella salami typcial of the town of Campotosto, near Aquila.)
Thankfully I knew that, otherwise I would have been seriously disturbed when I saw this hanging in the doorway of the same shop:
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, according to the label, those are grandpa's balls.
Really? That's the name you came up with. You couldn't have called them, I don't know, salami pinecones? Well, all I can say is, what a relief to thow they are gluten and lactose free!
PS These photos were taken at the historic Antica Caciara salumeria in Trastevere, which I wrote about (among other things) in one of my all-time personal favorite blogposts, when I thought I was leaving Trastevere forever. Thank goodness it has not yet come to that!
All photos by author
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