Louza – Myconian prosciutto!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Well, it’s not only the Italians that needed a way to preserve pork meat through the summer! Most Greek islands have, for centuries, used similar methods to preserve their choice meat.

The final product is Louza (pronounced loo-za),  a special and little known (even to most Greeks) dry cured ham, prepared from the choicest pork cut, the tenderloin.  

The basic method is the same, i.e. salting and air drying, but each island adds its own special touch based essentially on the available and most prevalent ingredients.
Thus, in Myconos the meat is first cured in sea salt, and then rolled in local thyme and coarse ground black pepper, before being air dried in the Aegean wind. Other islands add their own special touch; Tinos some fennel seeds and strong red wine, and Syros cinnamon and clove.

In any variation, it is an exquisite culinary delight, with a fine aroma and taste. Ideally it should be sliced paper thin, much like prosciutto, and served with some good bread, and local capers. A red wine would complement it beautifully.

You can find louza in the following butcher shops in Myconos, or ask a local to order it for you by phone (and watch them raise their eyebrows astonished at your local knowledge)…

Menagias butcher shop 22890 28626
Madoupas butcher shop 22890 22250
Ecologiko Pantopolio delicatessen 2289 22078

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