In the dialect of Val Poschiavo, in the far south of Switzerland, the Cion is a pig, and the Furmagin is the meat and liver pie that it fills.
In times past, the Furmagin was made in cake tins, and resembled a wheel of soft cheese. The Furmagin da cion used to be made by every family in the valley, with slight variations from house to house, but all with some offal in the mix. After the various cuts of meat are mixed together, onion, garlic, stock, red wine and majoram are added. The mixture is wrapped in caul fat and baked, then eaten either hot, straight from the oven, or cold, cut into slices and served with the traditional Val Pioschiavo ryebread donut.
In Coira, in the canton of Graubünden, this salami was traditionally made in winter from the gristle of the pig’s leg (Bein in German). It was the cheapest salami and given to farm workers and laborers. Today, better cuts of meat are used (tail, neck fat, shoulder, speck) and it is seasoned with salt, pepper, coriander and nutmeg. It is macerated for a few days in wine and then stuffed by hand into natural beef casings. Two butchers in Coira still produce the salami in the traditional way, smoking it lightly over fir wood.
In the Canton of Graubünden, producing and eating dried meat has been a tradition that has been handed down for centuries. Made with cattle hind limbs parts, mostly of the alpine gray breed, dried meat characterized the nutrition of the families of this Alpine area until the last After war, guaranteeing food self-sufficiency.
Fresh meat, cleaned of fat and tendons, is seasoned with salt and spices (pepper, garlic, ginger, juniper and bay leaf) and immersed in brine for a short time. After being inserted into a sock or a net, it hangs for drying, which takes place at a temperature between 0 and 18 ° C and lasts from three to six months. During this period, the pieces are frequently pressed, even several times a day: this ensures that the moisture is distributed evenly and does not form a too hard and dry edge. Dried meat is best enjoyed cut into thin slices (often served on buttered bread) or as an ingredient in soups.
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Graubünden Dried Beef
The tradition of producing and consuming dried meat has been passed down for centuries in the Canton of Graubünden. Made from cuts from the hind legs of the cattle, mostly the Grey Alpine breed, the dried beef was a staple of the local diet until the post-war period, stored for eating during the long winter months and guaranteeing food self-sufficiency for families. At the end of the fall, part of the herd, generally cows at the end of their useful life, would be slaughtered so that the remaining animals would have enough hay for the winter.
To make the dried beef, the fresh meat must be trimmed of fat and tendons, seasoned with salt and spices (pepper, garlic, ginger, juniper and bay) and briefly brined. The pieces are then washed under running water before being wrapped in netting and hung up to dry. The drying takes place at a temperature between 0° and 18°C and can last from three to six months. During this period, the pieces of meat are frequently pressed, sometimes many times a day, giving them their typical rectangular shape. The pressing also helps the moisture become evenly distributed and stops the edges becoming too dry and hard.
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This ancient breed of goat is named after the valley in the canton of St. Gallen where it was originally selected. Less than a thousand goats still survive here, even though the breed is hardy and ideal for both milk and meat production.
The Toggenburg Goat Presidium unites around 40 farmers, who provide the association with milk and the kid goat meat that is sold locally.
St. Gallen canton
This traditional Pays d’Enhaut blood sausage is made with exclusively local ingredients. Pork meat and rind is cut into large chunks and minced, mixed with white cabbage and blood, seasoned with nutmeg, pepper, salt and marjoram, and then used to fill a natural pork casing. The traditional processing of the Chantzet, now carried out by only four butchers in the region, is all done by hand.
Pays d’Enhaut, Vaud canton
The history of Cicitt is closely linked to that of the goats in the Locarno valleys, which were once known as the “cows of the poor”. This traditional sausage is made with the less-valued parts of the goat and its fat, along with the blanched stomach and the heart. It is spiced with salt, finely chopped garlic, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and red and white wine. The sausage can be up to three meters long, is dark red in color and has a sharp aroma.
Locarno valleys, Ticino canton
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