Morcela de Cozer de Portalegre (Portalegre cooking black pudding)
IGP Morcela de Cozer de Portalegre is a Portuguese scalded sausage consisting mainly of fats (from the head, neck, belly and back fat) and pig's blood from pigs of the Alentejo breed, with the addition of salt, ground dried ungerminated garlic, cumin, sweet pepper and, occasionally, white wine from the Portalegre region. The casing may be made from small or large intestine, stomach or bladder, exclusively of pigs. The sausage is 50cm long, shaped like a horseshoe, half-moon or ball depending on the nature of the skin used, individually made, with a cotton string tied or twisted around the ends. It is grey-black, shiny, of a firm consistency, with an unbroken skin adhering closely to the meat. Its cross-section reveals a homogenous mass, perfectly bound, of a shiny crumbly or pasty consistency, grey-brown or the colour of wine lees. It has a pleasant flavour, light, delicate and not highly salted. Its fat is shiny, pinkish white, aromatic. Its consistency varies depending on the feed and the percentage of acoms in the pigs' diet.
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 dó 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
IGP Morcela de Cozer de Portalegre may only be produced in approved premises in the geographical processing area mentioned. The raw material is derived from pigs of the Alentejo breed, raised in the open air, under extensive or semi-extensive conditions, in an agroforestry system (basic feed being grass and acorns) in the oak forests of the Alentejo region. A system of monitoring is in place which ensures control of the entire production process. As early as 1750 reference was made to these products, attesting to the reputation enjoyed by the pork products produced in Portalegre area.
Method of production
The soft fats, obtained in cutting the carcases, and the blood of Alentejo pigs, are subjected to a process of traditional cutting or "miga", mixing of the blood, seasoning, stuffing and scalding in the course of which they acquire the presentation, colour, flavour and smell characteristic of IGP Morcela de Cozer de Portalegre. The processing is carried out in a natural environment in accordance with local, fair and consistent practice.
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 pigmeat, 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 whether by a simple form of spicing using regional products, or using a special technique of scalding followed by rapid chilling. IGP Morcela de Cozer de Portalegre has its own characteristics of presentation, taste and aroma which link it unmistakably to the region of Portalegre.
IGP Morcela de Cozer de Portalegre must be stored at a temperature of between 5°C and 15°C. IGP Morcela de Cozer de Portalegre can be eaten as it is, roast, fried or boiled. It can be served as a main course, as an ingredient in traditional local dishes or as a starter, as it is in the best restaurants in the area.
Reference: The European Commission