Ciauscolo

Ciauscolo PGI is Italian soft sausage known for its unique spreadability, which clearly distinguishes it from other sausages. Unlike all other charcuterie, ‘Ciauscolo’ is not sliced but is ‘spread’ on bread which is due to its high fat content, finely minced and the special manufacturing techniques used. The name ‘ciaùscolo, ciavuscolo’ is said to derive from ‘ciabusculum’ or small meal or snack consumed in small quantities in accordance with rural tradition between breakfast and lunch or between lunch and dinner. Ciauscolo sausage has a typical, delicate, aromatic, distinctive and spicy smell (salt, ground black pepper, wine and crushed garlic are added to the mixture) with a delicate and savory taste which is never acidic. On cutting, the product is pink, uniform and homogeneous and free from rancidity. Ciauscolo PGI must be packed in natural pig or bovine casing. The two ends of the casing are tied off using hemp string. The sausage can be sold whole or vacuum packed or packed in a modified atmosphere, whole or in slices.

MeatsMetricUS
Pork belly600 g1.32 lb
Pork shoulder200 g0.44 lb
Ham and loin trimmings200 g0.44 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt30 g5 tsp
Cure #22.5 g½ tsp
Pepper2.0 g1 tsp
Dextrose (glucose)2.0 g½ tsp
Garlic, finely diced3.0 g1 tsp
Juniper berries2 berries2
Vino cotto or red wine20 ml4 tsp
Instructions
  1. Grind lean meat through 1/4” (5 mm) plate, then grind it twice through 1/8” (3 mm) plate.
  2. Cut pork belly into 1” (25 mm) cubes and partially freeze.
  3. Grind pork belly with 1/8” (3 mm) plate, partially refreeze and grind again. Hold in refrigerator until needed.
  4. Crush juniper berries and grind them in spice mill.
  5. Mix lean meat with all ingredients until sticky.
  6. Add ground belly and mix all again.
  7. Stuff into beef middles or large diameter hog casings (45 - 100 mm), 6 - 18” (15 - 45 cm) long.
  8. Apply a thin cold smoke at 15-18° C (59-64° F) for 2-3 days.
  9. Dry sausages for 30 - 45 days (depending on diameter) at 12-15° C (53 - 59°- F), 65-80% humidity.
  10. Store at 10-12° C (50-53° F), 65-70% humidity.
Notes
Ciauscolo PGI was awarded PGI certificate of origin on August 11, 2009.

The geographical area of production

The production area of Ciauscolo PGI comprises a number of municipalities in the Provinces of Ancona, Macerata and Ascoli Piceno and takes into the account the traditional nature of the product and its popularity among farming families. The farmers, who lived permanently on the holdings, raised pigs to supply the needs of their families and of the holding. Often, because the meat was for personal consumption, the single pig reared was divided in two, half for the farmer and half for the landowner. Ciauscolo was a by-product after the prime cuts had been removed. One of the particularities of the defined area up until the 1950s was the existence of holdings held on share tenancy, which had increasingly small dimensions (4-5 hectares), as the surplus agricultural workforce caused increased fragmentation of land holdings. Farms would therefore rear a single pig, since this could be combined with cattle raising and crop production and would help meet their food needs. As well as these economic and historical factors relating to the mountain economy, an important role is played by the area's particular climate, which is predominantly continental, particularly in the high hills and mountains. The cold winter weather, influenced by the Sibylline Mountains, have a positive effect on ageing and therefore on the keeping qualities of the product.

History

Various documents attest to the traditional use of the name ‘Ciauscolo’ and prove that the product has been present in the defined area for several centuries. By way of example, an extract from the ‘Prezzi dei generi’ (Price of Foodstuffs) of October 1851, contained in the Notarial Archive of the Municipality of Camerino, lists among the various products (grain, veal, pork, ham, salami, sausage, stockfish) ‘Ciauscolo’ and its price. It should be noted that the document lists the precise name for which registration as a PGI is requested. In more recent times, the fame of the product is demonstrated by the inclusion of the name and an accurate definition in the ‘Dizionario Zingarelli della lingua italiana’ (Zingarelli Dictionary of the Italian Language). The Dictionary defines ‘ciauscolo’ as a ‘very soft sausage, made with high-quality pork fat and very finely minced meat, flavored with garlic and spices, slightly smoked, characteristic of the Marches’ and dates the origin of the name to 1939.

Finally, the fame of ‘Ciauscolo’ is also attested to by the inclusion of the name on the national list of traditional foodstuffs since 2000 (Ordinary Supplement to the Official Gazette — General Series No 194 of 21 August 2000). The list catalogues products manufactured in Italy. in order to prevent knowledge of products with a long tradition disappearing as one generation gives place to the next. The inclusion of the name ‘Ciauscolo’ on the list of the Marches Region is a sure sign of the fame of the product, since for a product to be included proof must be provided that it has been in production for at least twenty-five years.

Production

Meat selection: Ciauscolo is made from Italian heavy pigs which are sent to slaughter between the end of the ninth month and the end of the 15th month. Each pig must weigh between 145 kg (319 lb) and 200 kg (440 lb). There are detailed regulations that specify which pig breeds and specimens are allowed for making Ciauscolo PGI.
Ciauscolo is a mixture of the following cuts (in decreasing order): belly, up to 70%; shoulder, up to 40%; ham and loin trimmings, up to 30%. Ciauscolo PGI is presented for consumption as a cylinder of soft consistency weighing between 400 g (0.88 lb) and 2,500 g (5.5 lb), with a diameter of between 4.5 - 10 cm (2 – 4”) and a length of between 15 - 45 cm (6 – 18”).
Ingredients:salt, black pepper, garlic, wine. The following items can also be added: sugar, dextrose, fructose, lactose, ascorbic acid (E300), sodium ascorbate (E301), potassium nitrate (E252). Adding flour or colorants is not permitted.
Processing steps: The meat is ground 2-3 times each time by a smaller plate as small as 2-3 mm (1/8”) in the last grind. Ground meat is mixed with all ingredients and rested in refrigerator for no more than 24 hours before stuffing into natural pork or beef casings. The stuffed casings are reinforced with hemp twine. Then, the sausage is dried for 4-7 days at around room temperature (15-18° C/ 59-63° F). At the end of this process the sausage is cold smoked with hard wood. A relatively short maturing process of at least 15 days follows at 8-15° C (46-59°), 60-85% humidity.

If available, add juniper branches to fire on the second day to impart a characteristic for this sausage flavor. This is a common practice when smoking hunter’s type sausages, regardless of the country.
Ciauscolo’ is not sliced but is ‘spread’ on bread.

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