Glarner Bauernspeck Farmer's bacon about 100 g thinly sliced vacuum packed to eat raw.
Artisan tradition by Menzi Metzg Switzerland
Speck, the lightly smoked, cured ham is one of the most celebrated foods in the Glarnerland a canton in the centre and Alps of Switzerland. This unique Glarner Farmer's Speck has a distinct flavor.
It comes as no surprise that to this day producers of Speck abide by the ancient rule of “a little salt, a little smoke and a lot of fresh air.” Let’s take a look at the delicate production process to give you an idea of what makes Speck special.
4 Stages of Production
1. High quality raw materials
To achieve an exceptional finished product means using the highest-quality raw materials. Menzi uses only lean, firm pork thighs from pigs raised within the Canton of Glarus.
2. Flavoring and curing
Flavored with a special blend of aromatic herbs and spices, including salt, pepper, juniper, rosemary, and laurel, Speck hams are cured for three weeks at controlled temperatures and turned periodically to ensure the curing permeates the meat.
While producers add their own personal touch on their ham by using their own secret recipes, often handed down for generations, the only restriction is that the final salt content must not exceed 5 percent.
3. Smoking and drying
After the curing process, the hams are exposed alternately to smoking and drying. Light smoking takes place at mild temperatures, never exceeding 20C/68F, and done over low-resin wood to provide a pleasantly mild flavor.
4. Slowly aged
The smoked hams are hung to dry in rooms. It is during this stage that the clean, fresh air of the Glarner mountain valleys plays a part in contributing to the unique flavors of the Speck. The aging process, which lasts about 22 weeks, is ultimately determined by the final weight of each ham. During that time, Speck hams lose part of their initial weight and acquire their characteristically firm consistency.
Glarner Bauernspeck, in its vacuum-sealed package, can be stored for many months in the fridge. When you first open the package, allow the Speck to “breathe” at room temperature for a few hours before eating it as this enables the Speck to develop its full aroma.
Once unpackaged Speck can be kept in the fridge for a few weeks wrapped in a piece of cloth or placed between two soup dishes, always making sure it isn’t placed next to pungent foods.
While most enjoy thinly sliced Speck, there are many uses of it in the kitchen, which include Speck that’s diced and julienne. However, for the best results, always cut the Speck perpendicular to the grain.