Applications for the registration of four types of charcuterie as Protected Geographical Indications are being promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture.
They concern the lountza of Pitsilia, the hiromeri of Pitsilia, positi and Paphos sausages. Along with publication of the announcement in the Cyprus Gazette, one month is given in order to submit objections to the applications at a national level.
Though the applications were submitted a decade ago, it was only decided to move towards their adoption now.
The application for the Paphos sausages was submitted on October 29, 2004 by a group of butchers and delicatessen butchers of the Paphos district. The product description states that it is prepared from shredded pork, which is ground and aged in dry red wine of the Paphos region, to which salt is added. After completion of curing it is placed into pig intestine.
The wine is obtained from specific producers or wineries to ensure the origin of "black" grapes from vineyards in Paphos. Each piece is folded so that each arrangement consists of 6-10 parts known as "teratsia". These are dried after they are hung indoors and under controlled conditions for two to three days, with maximum temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius and low humidity.
With completion of the process, the product acquires a distinctive flavour, which is attributed to the wine and all the added spices such as coriander, cumin and black pepper.
The application of securing the name 'hiromeri Pitsilias' was submitted by the Union of Producers of Traditional Cold Cuts of Pitsilia Ltd. Hiromeri is defined as a pork piece which absorb salt, ferment in wine and mature by being smoked. It is a pear- shaped, compressed, with an intense dark red-black colour on the outside and red to purple colour on the inside. It has aromas of red wine, smoke and coriander if used, as well as a salty flavour and firm texture to chew on.
In the villages of the Pitsilia area, the religious ceremony "vaptisi ton neron", or Epiphany Day which is celebrated on January 6, marked the start for "shirosfaon" (Cypriot dialect which means the slaughter of pigs). At the same time, a long process began in view to use as many parts of the animals to produce delicacies such as ("zalatina ", "lardin", "posyrti", "lountza", "koutales", "shiromerka", "pasta", "titsirides", "sausages", "souvli"). For residents of the Pitsilia area, the process and feasting during the slaughter process and the preservation of the meat of the pig had a ritual significance called "pariorka", similar to the mounring process after a death.
The hiromeri of this region enjoyed an excellent reputation in the olden days, while according to the book of accounts kept by the accountant of the convent of Agros in the years 1865 - 1869, it was also used as a means of bribing administrative officers to impose less taxation, as well as to officials of the bishopric in the prospect of reducing rent.
The Union of Producers of Traditional Cold Cuts of Pitsilia submitted an application for the registration and designation of the name lountza Pitsilias. According to the specifications described in this application, lountza Pitsilias is defined as pork tenderloin which is absorbed in salt, fermented in wine, and matured through smoke. It has an elongated cylindrical shaped with a slightly elliptical cross-section which gets smaller towards the ends, with a dark red to black colour on the outside and red to purple within . It has aromas of red wine, coriander and smoke and has a slightly salty flavour and firm texture, yet slightly chewy.
Finally, the name posyrti was submitted for registration as a Protected Geographical Indication by the Association of Producers of Traditional Cold Cuts of Pitsilia. According to the specifications described in this application, posyrti is defined as a piece of pork belly, which has been absorbed in salt, fermented in wine and maturated in smoke. Its shape is almost rectangular, flat and slightly wavy with dark red to black colour on the outside and red to purple on the inside. Internally, one can depict white layers of fat. It has aromas of red wine, coriander and smoke, it has a slightly salty flavour and a firm texture, yet slightly chewy.