Farinheira de Portalegre (Portalegre sausage)

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Farinheira de Portalegre

IGP Farinheira de Portalegre is a Portuguese smoked sausage comprising fresh fat of Alentejo pigs, accounting for not less than 45% of the total ingredients, and wheat flour, with added salt, non-germinated dry ground garlic, pepper and red pepper paste. The casings used are dry, natural intestines of cattle only. The sausage is horseshoe-shaped, tied at the ends, and measures up to 35 cm in length. It is brownish yellow and shiny in appearance, of a pasty consistency, in a casing without breaks which is not completely filled. A diagonal slice shows a perfectly bonded mass of lumpy appearance, shiny and orange-yellow or brownish yellow in colour. The flavour is pleasant, mild or subtle, low in salt, with at times a slightly piquant aftertaste. Pleasant distinctive odour. Fat: shiny, whitish-pink colour, aromatic and of pleasing taste. The consistency varies with the rations and the percentage of acorns in the feed of Alentejo pigs.

Geographical area: Given the organoleptic characteristics of the product, the soil and climatic conditions required and the local, fair and consistent methods used, the geographical area of manufacture is naturally confined to the municipalities of Alter do Chão, Arronches, Avis, Campo Maior, Castelo de Vide, Crato, Elvas, Fronteira, Gavião, Marvão, Monforte, Nisa, Ponte de Sor, Portalegre and Sousel, in the District of Portalegre.

Proof of origin: Farinheira de Portalegre can only be produced on authorised premises located in the abovementioned geographical area of processing. The raw material comes from swine of the Alentejo breed, reared outdoors under extensive or semi-extensive conditions in an agroforestry system (grazing and acorns) in the oak forests of the Alentejo region. A system of controls exists to monitor the whole production process. As proof of the renown enjoyed by the sausage products produced in the geographical area referred to by the name Portalegre, suffice it to quote the fact that back in 1750 a parish document referred to the products.

Method of production: The fresh fat comes from carcases of Alentejo pigs reared under the conditions described above and undergoes a traditional cutting process ("miga"), seasoning, mixing with scalded flour, filling and smoking, which gives the sausages the presentation, colour, flavour and aroma characteristic of Farinheira de Portalegre. The manufacturing process takes place in a natural environment, in accordance with local, fair and consistent practice.

Link: The region of Portalegre is characterised by its particular micro-climate, creating special conditions for the production of sausage products (cold, dry winters). Given the readily available supply of Alentejo pork, based on the special features of the diet of these animals, the people of Portalegre have developed special ways of preserving the meat so as to enhance its particular flavour with a simple form of spicing using regional products or by smoking usung wood from the region. The Farinheira de Portalegre has its own characteristics of presentation, taste and aroma which link it unmistakably to the region of Portalegre.

Gastronomy IGP Farinheira de Portalegre must be stored at a temperature of between 5°C and 15°C. It can be eaten boiled or roast. It is also used as an ingredient in traditional Portuguese dishes such as cozido, a rich soup which varies in ingredients depending on the area in which it is made. It does however include some common basic ingredients such as beans, potatoes, cauliflower, green cabbage, carrots, rice and obviously meat. It is a very high calorie dish, ideal for the region's cold winters.

Reference: The European Commission