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Traditions abound in the processing and cooking of meat.
There are two main varieties: sheep’s meat (sheep and lamb), pig-meat (pig and piglet); goat and beef are less popular.
Every family used to raise its own pig, often along with some goats and hens.
During the winter, in November or December, the pig was butchered.
It was a special day and relatives and friends would gather to help out.
It was one of the days when families would eat a lot, not because there was nothing to eat in other periods, but because there were no refrigerators and freezers: any part that would not last long had to be eaten immediately.
Every part of the pig can be used:
- The blood was salted and became ghiraizzu, boiled inside the intestine and then roasted
- The head could be cooked with broccoli (honcale e brocculos)
- The feet, tail and ears were used for gelatine (gheladina)
- Different kinds of sausages: grandulas (the glands from the animal’s neck), ham, bacon and sausage, to be eaten fresh or seasoned (a croppos)
- Bacon fat was salted down and lard was used instead of olive oil, which few families could afford
- The other parts were usually roasted
A characteristic dish all over the island is piglet (6-8 kg), roasted in a wood-oven, porheddu arrostu; in Barbagia it is only seasoned with salt.
There is also roast hisorzu (20-30 kg pig), usually cooked for supper or lunches among friends (ispuntinos).
photo: roast piglet