Traditional air-dried sausages hit the market

Throughout summer, a team of ‘Savineurs’ were busy creating new recipes using old methods –and a more hygienic environment than our ancestors.

Since its debut in 2006, the Savina brand has created a wide range of products inspired by Mediterranean culture, tradition and typical delicacies.

This year, its main delicacy is the traditional air-dried sausage in two varieties – zalzetta and zalzettun.

Intense research and development have gone into the art of sausage-making, with training taking place in Italy with experts, to ensure that the sausages are totally safe to eat and enjoy.

Savina’s sausages are made out of shoulder Maltese pork for best taste and quality. The meat is seasoned with a blend of traditional herbs and spices and air-dried in controlled chambers to mature slowly for added flavour.

The traditional zalzetta is based on the recipe and methodology of our forefathers, and the zalzettun is a thicker version of the sausage more closely resembling Italian salami and its Spanish counterpart, the salchichon.

Although the process of both sausages is the same, the taste is different. The zalzettun takes longer to dry and therefore the flavours of the meat, herbs and spices in the sausage are more intense.

The traditional zalzetta is spiced with coriander and coarse ground black pepper. It can be savoured with Gozitan-grown fennel and white wine or spiced with chilli.

Before the times of refrigeration, our ancestors were smart enough to preserve and store foods in very ingenious ways.

A great example of this was sausage-making and drying. Intestinal lining was carefully washed and sanitised and then filled with the coarse minced meat and other ingredients according to the family’s secret recipe. Then the sausage was hung in wells for some days for preservation.

The humidity and the cooler temperature in the well created the right conditions for the meat to lose moisture and aided the bacteria in the meat to cure faster.

These sausages were then left to hang for 20 to 30 days for the drying process to continue in a cooler, airier place usually on windows behind wooden lattices.

This process made the sausage meat tastier and could be stored for a longer time.

John Magro, managing director of Savina Creations Ltd, said: “I cannot promote the hygienic standards in those times. However, they tasted so good and succulent that we still do them at home using the same old recipe and method. This year I decided to share them with our clients in a more controlled and hygienic environment.”

The science of air-dried sausage-making and the taste of these delicacies can also be enjoyed at Savina Cellars, based at a new EU-approved centre at Magro Food Village in Xewkija.

Savina’s 2013 Catalogue boasts a range of over 150 exclusive products.


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