Description: The Chouriça de Carne de Melgaço PGI is a smoked and cold-cured horseshoe-shaped sausage, obtained from pigmeat from the shoulder, belly, trimmings and pork fat. It is a horseshoe-shaped sausage, light brown in colour, with a length of 30-35 cm and a diame-ter of between 2 and 3 cm, fairly smooth light-brown outside, moderately moist on the sur-face. Internally it reveals a well-bound filling, with irregular marbling of meat and fat and a medium hard consistency.
Production method: The meat and fat used in the production Chouriça de Carne de Melgaço PGI come from Bísaro pigs (pure or crossbread), slaughtered with a minimum live weight of 110Kg and at a minimum age of 32 weeks. Meat and fat are cut into small pieces (2 to 3 cm), mixed and seasoned with garlic, onion, hot or sweet paprika, salt, bay leaf, white wine and water. This mixture, (locally known as ‘sorça’) is left to rest in a dry cool place (8 to 11 ºC), and stirred twice a day. After this resting period (up to one week) the casing is filled and the sau-sage is smoked with burning dry wood from non-resinous species from the local flora (oak, broom, birch, etc.). After 15 days of smoking the sausages are left to cure in a dry cool place (locally known as ‘sequeiro’), thus preserving its characteristics.
Special features: Chouriça de Carne de Melgaço PGI is distinguished from other sausages in the same category by the appearance of its filling with irregular, clearly visible marbling and by its very succulent and tender texture. The blend of flavours — moderately acidic and spicy, salty and the intense smoky tang — are specific to this sausage.
Production area: The production area is re-stricted to the municipality of Melgaço.
History: The characteristic features of the re-gion are closely associated with the production techniques and characteristics of Chouriça de Carne de Melgaço PGI. For a long time Melgaço was an isolated and highly inaccessible munici-pality. Thanks to this isolation, traditions relat-ing to pig husbandry and slaughtering chan-nelled the local people’s skill and know-how into meat processing and preservation employ-ing natural methods adapted to the environ-ment, such as preserving it by cold curing, the sorça preparation technique and smoking, all with the aim of survival.
Product specification (pdf)
Melgaço Rural – Associação de Produtores Locais
Control and certification body
SATIVA - Desenvolvimento Rural, Lda