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Furmagin da cion - Slow Food Presidia

Furmagin da cion


The Poschiavo Valley, in the extreme south of the Canton of Graubünden, is very close to the Italian border. The impact on language and cuisine has been strong, and the local cured meats particularly reflect the Italian influence. In the local dialect, cion is pig and furmagin refers to a kind of meat pie. This curious name was perhaps used by locals because the pork was once baked in pots or the baking dishes used for cakes, giving it a round shape similar to a type of cheese called formaggetta.
The most famous product from the Poschiavo Valley is Slinzega, a kind of bresaola made from beef or game, but the most traditional is Furmagin, once made by every rural family in the valley. It was traditionally eaten during the mazziglia, the pig slaughtering, at homes in the town of Poschiavo and its outlying hamlets. The recipe varied from family to family, but was always based on the less-prized cuts of meat, like neck, cheek, liver and belly, chopped up, spiced and baked in the oven.
One butcher has continued making Furmagin for the last 20 years, following his father's recipe. The meat from the neck, belly and other considered-inferior parts of the pig are mixed with a little pork fat and liver. After the pieces have been minced, they are mixed with onion, garlic, meat broth, local red wine and marjoram. The herb is one of Furmagin's dominant flavors. The ingredients are mixed together slowly, by hand, until a uniform mass is obtained. This is shaped into patties which are wrapped in caul fat and baked in the oven for around 40 minutes at 180-200°C. As it cooks, the caul fat flavors and encloses the meat.
Furmagin can be eaten hot, straight out of the oven, or cold, cut into slices and often accompanied by Poschiavo Valley ciambella, a traditional rye bread.

With the disappearance of the tradition of butchering pigs at home, the tradition of Furmagin is also being lost. The Presidium's objective is to revive its production, and to promote the local farming of pigs, shortening the production chain.
The Presidium has involved an organic farmer, who raises a few dozen Large White pigs from the spring until they reach 150-180 kilos. The pigs are slaughtered and butchered at a local slaughterhouse that uses the prized cuts for some cured meats and to sell fresh, while the lesser-prized parts are sold to the butcher to make Furmagin. The three Presidium producers intend to form an association and improve production, obtaining organic certification not just for the meat but also the final product.

Production area
Poschiavo valley, Graubünden canton

Presidium supported by
Coop Switzerland
Reto Raselli
Raselli Organic Farm
7743 Le Prese
tel. +41 818440814 - +41 796114463

Michele Branchi
7743 Brusio
tel. +41 818347931 - +41 793124661

Sandro Marchesi
Scalino Butchery
7745 Li Curt, St.Antonio
tel. +41 818440267 - +41 786000267
Producers' coordinator
Sandro Marchesi
tel. +41 818440267 – +41 786000267

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Giuseppe Domeniconi
tel. +41 562228915


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