ALL ABOUT THE HUNGARIAN "WINTER SALAMI"
One of the best-known and liked food products of Hungary worldwide is undoubtedly Pick Winter Salami, or “téliszalámi”, as it is called in Hungary. Based on a unique, secret recipe, using pork, bacon and secret spices, this cold smoked and dry matured Hungarian delicacy has been produced for centuries.
It is no surprise that Pick Winter Salami is among the most popular Hungarian food-related Hungaricums. It is distinguished by its delicate spice mix, its wide girth, and its "noble mould". The expression “téliszalámi” recalls old times when salami could only be manufactured in the winter. It is available in nearly every Hungarian food shop and its logo can be found on the handball team’s outfit in Szeged, where the salami is produced.
Everyone knows the name Pick in Hungary. But what many Hungarians don’t know is that the company, the country’s largest pork processor, was founded by a Jewish man, who might not have eaten his own signature product, and who used his pork profits to build one of the country’s grandest synagogues the monumental Szeged Synagogue – the second largest in Hungary -, which was finished in 1907.
Márk Pick started producing the well-known salami in 1869, in Szeged, after he had returned from Italy, the homeland of salami, with some sausage makers. The large-scale production began in 1885. It quickly captured the world and was awarded a bronze medal in the Paris World Fair in 1900.
Márk Pick died in 1892 and his widow handled the business until their son, Jenő, took over in 1906. It was the beginning of a new age in the history of the factory. He purchased the bankrupt “Tiani” salami factory in the neighbourhood, so the whole real estate at the River Tisza belonged to the Pick family.
Jenő Pick aspired to bring about great changes with modern instruments. He had a good sense for the market, he saw the importance of promotion. Salami became the leader product in the first decade of the 20th century. By 1939, the Pick factory was the second largest food processing plant in Hungary. In 1944 the Nazi Germany invaded Hungary and Jenő had to leave Szeged with other, approximately 9,000 Jews. He arrived in Budapest and survived the war under the protection of the Swedish Embassy. In 1948, the socialist government nationalized the company. Jenő visited Szeged to see if the factory was still there, but later returned to Budapest where his children supported him until he died.
In 2007, the “Winter Salami” gained European Union PDO status. Eventually, the Pick factory was bought out by other salami production companies, including Ringa in 2007 and Herz in 2010, and lost connection with the Pick family.
According to the original recipe the salami was made of donkey meat, and flavoured with a secret spice mix. Originally, the salami was encased in horse intestines, later it was replaced with cellulose. After a while, however, there were not enough donkeys left, so another type of meat was needed to replace it.
Pick found the solution to have a comparable taste, and it was elder sow meat. The sausage making process was similar to other methods, except that he had used horse casings followed by a cold smokingpreservation of the salami, and finished with a precise drying and ripening procedure. With this new process the salami became covered with magnificent mould, giving the product a unique and characteristic smell and taste. Mould fungi need a chilly temperature and suitable humidity to settle down. Therefore, the factories were established at riversides, such as the original Pick Salami factory by the River Tisza.
The Pick family established something remarkable in the form of its legendary salami, which has become a Hungaricum, a worldwide known, tasty, and desired product. Excellent quality, carefully selected raw materials and a strict quality assurance system guarantee that their Winter Salami will remain as remarkable as it was when it was first created.
Paprika did not originally feature among the seasonings used in Pick salami; it was only later that paprika-flavoured (“choice”) and “spicy” salami were introduced
The principal guarantee of quality was the salami masters with their outstanding expertise. They lived on the factory premises and were at hand night and day to take any measures in the maturing process which were necessary because of changes in the weather. Everything depended on the weather. How much ventilation time was necessary or possible? At what level should the salami going through the maturing process be kept?
No-one has yet succeeded in copying the secrets of Pick salami. Each salami master knew about only one part of the production process.
In 2008, the first Asian Pick office was opened in Japan, Tokyo
undoubtedly - kétségtelenül
pork - disznóhús
spice - fűszer
dry matured - szárazon érlelt
delicacy - finomság
girth - átmérő, vastagság
noble mould - nemespenész
outfit - mez
Jewish - zsidó
grand - nagy, nagyszerű
monumental - monumentális
large-scale production - tömegtermelés
to capture - lenyűgözni, meghódítani
to be awarded - elnyerni
widow - özvegy
bankrupt - csődbe ment
to aspire - törekedni valamire
promotion - promóció, reklámozás
to invade - elfoglalni, lerohanni
to survive - túlélni
donkey - szamár
to encase - beletölteni
intestines - belek
comparable - hasonló
sow - koca
preservation - tartósítás
ripening - érlelő
magnificent - pompás, fenséges
fungi - gombák
humidity - nedvesség, páratartalom
riverside - folyópart
raw material - nyersanyag
quality assurance system - minőségbiztosítási rendszer
expertise - szakértelem
on the premises - a helyszínen
to be at hand - kéznél lenni