Production of dried meat in the Grisons

Sausages and cured meats are widely consumed in Switzerland. Meat in general is consumed on a daily basis, pork being particularly ubiquitous in Swiss cuisine. Preserving meat by smoking it or by adding salt has been done for millennia in Switzerland.

History

Salt was hardly used as a means of preservation before the 2nd millennium BC, as the archaeological excavations carried out near salt resources seem to indicate. In the Lower Engadine, beef and pork were smoked as early as the 1st millennium BC; this is attested by pierced shoulder blades found on archeological sites. Smoking meat was probably common since the Neolithic, as livestock had to be slaughtered before the long winter season.[1] This has not changed much throughout history: until the 19th century, animals were typically slaughtered in November, then cut up for salting, smoking and making sausages. Since the meat could not be refrigerated easily, its fresh consumption was limited to the time of slaughter.[2]

Current meat-curing techniques and recipes are attested since the Late Middle Ages. In 1438, the statutes of the Butchers' Guild of St. Gallen mention a veal sausage.[3] In Valais, dried meat specialities made from beef are attested in Münster's 1544 Cosmographia. The Walser people, who also occupied other Alpine territories, such as the Grisons and Ticino, are sometimes credited for this speciality.[4] Grisons Meat is described by 18th century travellers, in particular by Johann Gottfried Ebel who notes that "the air is so dry from Sils to St. Moritz between the months of October and March that meat is dried instead of being smoked".[5]

Raw ham was probably also produced since the Late Middle Ages, especially in southern Switzerland.[6] While drying techniques are common in Valais, Ticino and the Grisons, smoking techniques are more common in northern Switzerland.[7] These differences reflect those between northern and southern Europe.[8]

Meat products

Grilling sausages
A variety of cured meats from Valais

Switzerland has a large number of regional meat products and specialties that constitute an important gastronomic heritage.[9][10] The cultural and climatic diversity of the country accounts for a large part.[11] In French-speaking Switzerland, the term charcuterie is employed, whereas in Italian-speaking Switzerland, the term salumi is employed.

The products listed below are inscribed in the Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. They are essentially made of pork, unless specified.[12]

Sausages

Sausages are primarily made of pork. Three types are made in Switzerland: grilling (blanched) sausages, raw sausages and cooking sausages.[13] Among cooking sausages is also a subcategory of raw sausages with interrupted maturation (*), often called saucissons.[14]

Cured meats

See also

References

  1. ^ "Alimentation" (in French). Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. Retrieved 25 January 2023. Le Sel ne fut guère utilisé comme moyen de conservation avant le IIe millénaire av. J.-C., comme semblent l'indiquer les fouilles archéologiques menées sur le site de sources salées et de dépôts de sel gemme. En Basse-Engadine, on tirait sans doute parti du climat dès le Ier millénaire av. J.-C. pour faire sécher de la viande de bœuf et de porc, dont on a retrouvé des omoplates percées.
  2. ^ "Boucherie" (in French). Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. Retrieved 25 January 2023. Jusqu'au XIXe s., on consommait à la campagne des bêtes ― des cochons principalement ― que paysans, artisans et journaliers avaient élevées et que des bouchers venaient abattre chez leurs clients, puis découper en vue de la salaison, du fumage et de la confection de saucisses. Comme on ne pouvait réfrigérer la viande, sa consommation fraîche se limitait à l'époque de l'abattage, qui avait lieu en novembre.
  3. ^ "St. Galler Bratwurst PGO". Swiss PDO-PGI Association. Retrieved 13 January 2023. In 1438, first reference was made to a Bratwurst in the statutes of the Butchers' Guild of St. Gallen. Therein it is stipulated that this sausage is produced from veal, bacon, spices and fresh milk. The latter also explains the white colour of the sausage. Since then, the sausage recipe has not really changed, the master butchers, however, can interpret it to their taste, as long as they stick with specifications.
  4. ^ "Viande séchée du Valais (IGP)". Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. Retrieved 25 January 2023. En Valais, la première attestation détaillée concernant le séchage de la viande remonte à la Cosmographie de Sebastian Münster, dont la première édition est publiée en 1544 à Bâle
  5. ^ "Bündnerfleisch (GGA/IGP)" (in German). Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. Retrieved 25 January 2023. Schriftliche Erwähnungen des Bündnerfleisches finden sich ab dem 18. Jahrhundert in Berichten von deutschen Reiseschriftstellern, die in Graubünden unterwegs waren. So schreibt Johann Gottfried Ebel in seiner im Jahr 1793 erschienenen „Anleitung auf die nützlichste und genussvollste Art die Schweitz zu bereisen": „Die Luft ist so trocken, dass von Sils bis St. Moritz hinab vom Monat October bis Merz alles Fleisch nicht im Rauch, sondern an der Luft gedörrt wird."
  6. ^ "Prosciutto crudo della Mesolcina" (in Italian). Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. Retrieved 26 January 2023. È difficile dire da quanto tempo il prosciutto crudo della Mesolcina viene prodotto nella regione. Secondo lo storico Cesare Santi, che conduce da cinquant'anni ricerche sul Moesano negli archivi della regione, il prosciutto crudo si produceva già nel medioevo. Lo testimoniano i documenti di archivio...
  7. ^ "Jambon de la Borne" (in French). Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. Retrieved 26 January 2023. L'usage de la borne permettait un double processus de séchage et de fumage, qui répondait à la nécessité de conserver la viande tout en tenant compte du climat relativement humide de cette région de Suisse. Le Valais, le Tessin et les Grisons, plus ensoleillés, privilégiaient le séchage à l'air libre.
  8. ^ Toldrá, Fidel (2014). Handbook of Fermented Meat and Poultry. John Wiley & Sons. p. 3. ISBN 9781118522691. Historically, the manufacturing procedures used to make fermented sausages were adapted to the climatic conditions of theproduction area. For instance, Mediterranean meat products are dried to low water activity (aw) values, taking advantage of the long dry and sunny days, while in Northern Europe fermented sausages require smoking for further preservation.
  9. ^ "Fleish-und Wurstwaren" [Meat and sausages] (in German). Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  10. ^ Fletcher, Nichola (2012). Sausage. Dorling Kindersley. p. 38. Switzerland may be most famous for cheeses and chocolate, but it is also a land of sausages. [...] there is a wonderful range of dried mountain sausages, fresh sausages, cooked, cured, smoked, and scalded sausages to savour.
  11. ^ Scheeder, Martin (2017). "Production porcine régionale pour les charcuteries traditionnelles valdo-fribourgeoises". Recherche Agronomique Suisse. 8 (4): 126–133. La Suisse connait un grand nombre de produits alimentaires régionaux et de spécialités qui constituent un patrimoine gastronomique important. La diversité des conditions climatiques et topographiques, tout comme la vivacité des traditions artisanales locales, ont favorisé le développement de produits renommés tels que la viande séchée des Grisons, la viande séchée du Valais, les spécialités fumées et/ou salées, ainsi qu'une grande diversité de fromages
  12. ^ "Fleish-und Wurstwaren" [Meat and sausages]. Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  13. ^ "L'art de la saucisse" (in French). Viande Suisse. Retrieved 25 January 2023. La première chose à savoir est qu'il existe trois types de saucisses: Les saucisses à réchauffer et à rôtir [...] Les saucisses crues [...] Les saucisses à cuire
  14. ^ "Saucisson neuchâtelois (IGP)". Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. Retrieved 12 March 2023. Le saucisson neuchâtelois est un saucisson cru et fumé de porc. Il appartient à la famille des saucisses dites à maturation interrompue (que l'on pourrait faire sécher, mais qui sont en général cuites alors qu'elles sont encore moelleuses) typiques de la Suisse romande, qui comprend également les saucissons vaudois et fribourgeois, le boutefas, la longeole, la saucisse d'Ajoie, les saucisses aux choux et au foie. [Saucisson neuchâtelois is a raw and smoked pork sausage. It belongs to the family of so-called interrupted maturation sausages (which could be dried, but which are generally cooked while still soft) typical of French-speaking Switzerland, which also includes Vaud and Fribourg sausages, Boutefas, Longeole, Saucisse d'Ajoie, cabbage and liver sausages.]
  15. ^ Hoffstetter, Matthieu (26 June 2020). "Le Tessin: entre agritourisme, saveurs et barrages". Bilan. Retrieved 27 January 2023. Et sur son plateau, au milieu des gentianes et des épilobes fleurit l'un des trésors du Tessin : le jambon cru de l'Alpe Piora.