As it is known, Italians have a saint for every occasion and every product, so of course we would have one for salami. Saint Anthony the Abbot is considered the patron saint of cured meat makers and the protector of household animals. Indeed, he is often depicted with a pig alongside him.
On 17th January every year, priests bless animals and their sheds, putting them under the protection of the Saint. Bread is also blessed and then kept for a whole year, before being softened with water and given to the animals to eat on the day before 17th January the following year.
We have some peculiar traditions in Italy, but these all add up to the passion it takes to create our great tasting food.