The next day, or two days after the killing of the pig, in the warmer lands, the pig is cut and the meat is separated according to its purpose. The meat to be smoked is wrapped in a generous layer of salt, thus remaining for about a month, after which it is hung in the kitchen of the house. The meat for the chorizos (type of smoked sausages) is cut in small pieces, placed in containers and seasoned with wine (mature, green or a mixture of both – there are also those who mix wine and water), minced garlic and salt. It stays in the wine and garlic sauce several days (between four and eight depending on the village), along which it needs to be stirred, to better taste the syrup and rectify the spices if necessary. 

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Traditional smoked meats in the village of Codessoso. Photo Marina Silva

On the day the chorizos are made, the housewife invites some women (close relatives, friends and neighbors) to assist her in this task. Sweet pepper is poured into the meat (paprika) and some fresh garlic and the meat is funneled into the casings previously rinsed with water. The chorizos are then hung in fireplaces and placed to be smoked in the heat of the kitchen fireplaces.

The excellent quality of the smoked meat and chorizos are the result of local know-how and climate characteristics, where the rigors of winter play a key role.

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Photo DR

Thus, as in the past, the killing of the pig remains a tradition, maintaining traditional practices in smoking and cutting the meat, which gives it a high level of quality and unmistakable flavor.

Pork is still a staple food for the local population, but in addition to producing these food products for self-consumption, today the traditional smoked meats and chorizos are also for sale at the Pork Gastronomic Fair in Boticas, a very important event for the local economy.

Source: Câmara Municipal de Boticas 2006, Preservação dos Hábitos Comunitários nas Aldeias do Concelho de Boticas, Boticas.