Smudging in South Tyrol

Smudge products such as bacon, ham and smoked sausages are still very important in the farmhouse. This South Tyrolean specialty belongs in every farmer's family as a supper on the table.
A lot of experience, knowledge and diligence is required for the production of smoked products. The first prerequisite for good quality is the correct feeding of the animals, and in the case of the pigs also the correct age at slaughter. In summer the pigs should be given green fodder. At the final fattening stage, hay flowers, cereal scraps, potatoes and turnips produce the right bacon texture. In addition, a slaughter age of one year is desirable. Animals that are fattened too quickly or poorly fed do not produce usable meat for smoking.
After slaughter, the meat is stored for approx. 14 days in a chest and poured over and over again with the resulting meat juice. The pieces of meat are then hung in the smoking chamber to dry.
The smoking chamber should be dry, airy, dark and cool, but frost-free. Smoking takes place once a day for two to four weeks at the most. Smoking too strongly and too long dries out the meat. Dry hardwood waste, sawdust and wood shavings are used for smoking. The addition of juniper twigs gives a good taste.

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