Centuries ago ancient Hungarians, shepherds, herders, and horsemen carried dried meat with them as a staple food item. Usually, they would be gone from home for a year or more. These dried meats they could reconstitute into a delicious hot stew by means of a large kettle hung on a tripod. Austria-Hungary pre-1921 was many times larger than it is now.
Before 1900 Herding animals to market over very long distances was difficult. There weren’t as yet river steamer transport nor railway systems. The animals were driven on foot. Many became lame and tired so they were butchered and preserved before they arrived at their destination. The town of Guyla and the neighboring Bekeschaba was one such stop, located at the south end of the great plain Alföld which is the largest continuous natural grassland in Europe, meaning that it was not formed as a result of deforestation or river control. These towns were a natural stop for herdsmen. In 1868 a large slaughterhouse was built. Quickly sausage making operations sprang up as well, as the climate and location were ideal. As fate would have it, these towns are also close to the finest onion and paprika growing areas in all of Hungary. This symbiotic relationship led to the finest sausage making, producing world fair winners for taste and quality.
Guylai Kolbasz is named for the town it originated in, Guyla. It consists of pork meat, pork bacon fat, garlic, pepper, caraway, and Hungarian hot or sweet paprika. Csabai Kolbasz made in Bekescsaba is similar with more paprika and a little spicier. They are slow-cooked and cured, then beech-wood smoked. Both brands have been awarded government-protected status.
Teli Salami was created by Mark Pick, a product trader of Moravian Jewish origin. While traveling in Italy and sampling the Salami he was convinced Hungary’s Mangalica pigs would produce superior Salami. This rare pig was bred in Hungary and is a very slow-growing, aggressive forest forager, wooly skinned pig, and an exceptional lard producer. Its slow growth rate produces very large fat to meat ratios. On returning to Hungary Mark Pick began to produce small amounts of salami. In 1869 he began using Hungarian methods vs. Italian methods such as cold smoking vs. open-air drying. He also adjusted the spices to suit Hungarian tastes. After his death, his son and widow ran the business for another 50 years after relocating the factory to near the Tisza River. The always cool atmosphere near the river assured the optimal climate for maturing and curing the salami and the unique mold flora which exists along the river contributed to the special casing which further preserved the salami and gives Teli Salami its characteristic flavor. Teli Salami has been awarded government-protected status.
1885 Filipo Dozzi emigrated from Italy to work at the Piatra Arsas quarry of Poiana Tapului. Dozzi was a bricklayer with a passion for sausages and salami. He noted the weather conditions of Sinaia were perfect for dry sausage production so he purchased a large building and founded his company ”Intreprinderea Individuala Fillip Dozzi” which quickly became successful. He named his sausage “Salam de Iarna” or winter salami. Winter salami is a term used primarily in Hungary and Romania. During these years when exporting the salami, it was stamped “Customs of Sibiu” and became known by the name Sibiu Salami. Fillipo Dozzi passed on the secrets of his salami craft to his sons who continued manufacture until the nationalization of the company by the state.
The production of Sibiu salami takes a minimum of 70 days including the addition of the mold culture “penicillium nalgiolensis spores” which create the unique white coating and aids in the preservation process. The mold also preserves the red color and prolongs shelf life. The Sibiu Salami is a product of high quality, made from pork and hard bacon. The maturation is done with alcoholic products, like white wine, red wine, rose wine, vinars (a sort of cognac) and dark beer.
While both are ‘winter salami ’ there is a difference in Sibiu and Szegedi Teli Salami.
We love sharing smoked meats during the holidays and as appetizers before any meal.
I hope you’ll like that too. Inspiring Hungarian Cold Platters