Pure pork sausage to eat fresh after cooking, grilled, with sauerkrauts, in risotto, and stewed. If seasoned and smoked, it becomes a small salami and is eaten as a cold cut. The fresh sausage is produced all year round, while if the product is smoked and seasoned, its production goes from September to June (for preservation problems).
Processing, conservation, and maturation methods
Lucanica Cauriota is made with fresh pork pulp (except cut of rump and sometimes rumpsteak). The meat is minced, flavored, and mixed for about 5 minutes. Afterwards, it is put into pork bowels with a diameter of 40mm, about 3m long, which is divided with some string in identical pieces of about 150g each. In order to avoid the presence of harmful air bubbles, lucanica is riddled several times with a special tool with needles.
The ingredients used to prepare Lucanica Cauriota are: 100 kilos pure pork meat, 2.5 kilos fine salt, 100g pepper, 5 crushed garlic cloves, a pinch of powdered cloves, a pinch of powdered cinnamon, standard preservatives.
In the past, after packaging, lucaniche were moved to a cellar where, after drying for some time, they were smoked using burning coals and green juniper branches originating a thick aromatizing smoke. Such operation was carried out for one week, twice a day. Today, after the drying stage in an airy premise at a temperature of about 12 °C, lucaniche are smoked in a special metal cabinet using the traditional method, except for the time that has been reduced to four days because of the changed taste of the customers.
Lucaniche are preserved hanged in a basement with concrete floors and walls made with stone and concrete. Particular attention is paid to the color of the mold forming outside lucanica: it must be light and exclusively white. The temperature of the premise is maintained under 18 °C, eventually changing ventilation and the minimum stay, in order to obtain a perfect maturation that must not last less than 40 days. Considering that they are not produced during the summer, several lucaniche are produced in spring: once mature, they are preserved during the whole summer in the fridge at a temperature of about 1-2 °C.
In the area involved by the production of Lucanica Cauriota, in the past most families used to breed pigs for the family consumption. Lucaniche were produced in every family and only in small quantities by butcher's shops for those who did not have the possibility to breed pigs. Often, the butcher was called by families to kill the pig and run all the following processing stages. Currently, the situation has completely changed: pigs are no longer bred by families and, as a consequence, Lucaniche Cauriote are almost exclusively produced in the butcher's shops.