Food - Drink
How Early Italian Immigrants Used Cheese To Sneak Sausage Into The US
Over four million Italians immigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century, and cooks were eager to bring the flavors of Italy to their new home. Unfortunately, the U.S. had a strict ban on imports of pork meat at the time, but not on imported cheese, leading Italians to take advantage of this loophole and find a way to smuggle sausage into America.
Soppressata, a salami made from lean cuts of pork seasoned with salt, pepper, cinnamon, chili pepper, and rosemary, originated in Southern Italy. To smuggle this must-have staple into the U.S., immigrants hid soppressata inside caciocavallo cheese, whose curing process involved tying it with a rope and hanging it to dry, giving it a unique pear shape.
The interior of caciocavallo has a stringy texture that can easily be wrapped around cured meat, making it the perfect hiding spot for soppressata. However, the smuggling process was a slow one; after a year of curing the meat and a year of drying the cheese, it was ready to ship, with the sausage hiding inside the cheese as a sort of Trojan horse.