Rome has coratella.

Palermo has milza.

And Catanzaro?

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.

 We were having so much fun our neighbor even joined in, offering me an exclusive photo op with his pizza, as it had “un gusto particolare.”

 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

0961. 751838

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?

16 Responses
  1. Yeah you know I’d try it because I’m like that, but I’d definitely order a pizza for me (probably one with prosciutto crudo, rucola and grana like in the last photo!) and take a bite of P’s morzehru (hee hee) instead of getting one all to myself.
    Oh yes. I am sure you will try it. If we can convince P that CZ is an ok-kind-of-place maybe we can all go one night!

  2. I would like to say I’m adventurous, but I’d probably freak myself out and end up gagging just thinking about it. You are a brave girl for getting so close to take a picture. I also don’t judge you for not tasting it.
    Oh girl. I had a hard time writing this post! lol

  3. Pat

    Innards are the best! You people have no appreciation for the good stuff…
    Gah!!! Pat… Ok. Ok … I’m composed now. 🙂

  4. Even if I was not a vegetarian I don’t think I could or would eat this. Bel ragazzo would though – he’ll try anything once!
    This is what I was trying to tell you guys about the other day. I wonder if Bel Ragazzo has tried it?

  5. The Catanzaresi who described morzeddu to me said it was best if the innards were not completely cleaned before being included in the dish. Talk about un gusto particolare. Blecch.
    Ugck!!! Ugck! Seriously… UCK!

  6. I would tend to stay away from anything like that. That’s just me though. And since I’m a big fan of pizza I would have definitely had that!
    Yea. Pizza is a safe way to go!

  7. No never would I try that…but I may have had tripe once when I was 11 in Sicily and it came back up! There’s a piece in the first photo that looks like a centipede…the pizza on the other hand looks delicious. You should see my face right now, squinting eyes and pursed lips I can’t bare to see those photos again…lol.
    Uck… I hear you, girl. I had a hard time writing the post, seriously.

  8. I would try it, but would still have my own pizza. I remember having tripe with tomato sauce growing up, and it being fine, just a bit rubbery. I bet the Calabrian sauce would be spicier though! What type of salami was on your pizza — it looks tasty!
    Uhm… Calabrian salami? Maybe… I *just* started eating that, too and I actually only eat it on pizza!

  9. Maria from Philly

    I’m NOT a fan of the internal business, my mom makes it for my dad and yuck its stinky. My husband ordered it when we were in Rome in April not knowing what it was and well he almost puked at the table LOL!

    The pizza looks so good, can you FedEx one to me like NOW! 🙂
    Yes… pizza is in the mail. (although, you know Italia’s mail issues…)

  10. I have never tried it, but it certainly looks delicious.

    (Wondering whether it needs to be super spicy in order to keep your mind off the texture…?)
    You may be on to something there … as they say in Calabria – Boh!

  11. Not sure about this Cherrye! Sounds trippaish. For some inexplicable reason, women seem to prefer Italian tripe based dishes more than us men.

    A legendary discovery though! Very original.

    What the heck, I’ll try most things at least once.

    All the best,

    Well, Alex, you need to travel out of Milano and give this a try. You can tell me what you think, cause I don’t think I’ll ever try it!

  12. And yet your photo still manages to make those innards look appetizing!

    Hmm…Either your Calabrese pizza has a thicker crust than what we get up here in Naples, or the photo is tricking my eyes.

    Ain’t it great how you can travel such a short distance in Italy and encounter such differences in cuisine?

    He he… I’m not sure about the “real” Naples pizza, but this crust was different from the “Naples” pizzerias here in Catanzaro. The pizza was good – but not Naples great, I don’t think! Speaking of, though, I am heading up that way in Oct. Any recs?

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