Rome has coratella.
Palermo has milza.
Well, we have morzello.
Originally created in the province of Catanzaro, morzello, or Morzeddhu alla Catanzarisi in Catanzaro’s dialect is a specialty dish made from cow innards.
According to legend … (come on we are in southern Italy, folks you didn’t think this dish would come without a legend, did you?)
… According to legend an impoverished mother, widowed and alone, was forced to accept odd jobs to support her hungry children. On Christmas Eve, she was asked to clean a slaughterhouse and dispose of the wastes in the nearby *Fiumarella.
Worried about what she would serve her hungry children for Christmas dinner the following day, she saved the disposed meat, cleaned it and prepared a meat soup. And morzello was born …
For those of you who didn’t know, I’m not much of an internal-organ-eating-type-of-gal. In fact, much to the distress of my Calabrian suocero, I rarely eat meat at all.
I am not, however, one to exert my beliefs onto others and when my husband heard of a new restaurant that specializes in morzeddhu, well, we had to go.
Located in the heart of Catanzaro Sala, just skimming the outskirts of downtown Catanzaro, A’ Tijana sits on the side of a busy street, proudly announcing its prize.
The inside of the restaurant is adorned in dark wood and pale yellow and there is a general pleasantness about the place. The owners, who just might be two of the friendliest restaurateurs in Calabria, are a young couple who talk of their long days and endless nights with a smile. They like their job, and in turn we liked their restaurant.
I was especially relieved to see a long list of pizza options listed on their menu. Their menu, that is written strictly in Catanzarese dialect, has pizza, appetizers and of course, morzello.
Peppe chose the traditional morzello dish which is piled into a “pitta” smothered in sauce, and is served extra-extra-super-hot spicy.
In keeping with the theme of the evening, I had the Pizza Calabrese.
Since morzello is best enjoyed as a mid-morning treat, A’Tijana opens at 10:00 AM and serves lunch and dinner six days a week and is only closed on Sundays.
Here’s their info.
Via degli Angioini
88100 Catanzaro Sala
And if you go, tell them I sent you-they’ll remember me. I’m the straniera who wouldn’t eat morzeddhu and took pictures of food!
* The above-mentioned Fiumarella is the same small river that runs directly in front of our home (and bed and breakfast) and leads the path along which I sometimes enjoy a morning jog or an afternoon passeggiata.
But I am curious. Have you tried morzello? And if not, would you?