South Tyrolean bacon
It is the time for making sausages and speck! The day of slaughter is like a celebration in which the whole family helps to work, as everyone is called on to lend a hand.
In this process both halves of the slaughtered pig are salted and rubbed with a special spice mixture. Finally, the meat is smoked. There are as many different ways to smoke pork as there are farmers that do it.
The basic thought of ‚little smoke, lots of mountain air’, however, is common just about everywhere. Farmers are also united over their choice of smoke-producing fuel: juniper branches give the meat a particularly spicy and delicate taste.
How long the sides of ‚speck’ stay in the smoke kitchen depends on their thickness, the climactic conditions and the discretion of the farmer. The meat is hung for two to three months, in some places even longer. The last phase in the bacon's career is maturation. It has to be kept for at least 6-8 months in a suitable place, preferably in the cellar, where it can reach full maturity without being exposed to variations in temperature or other disturbances.
Some ‚Red Rooster’ farm bars and restaurants have maintained this original form of bacon production and serve their own bacon, produced using age-old recipes and techniques.