What is the history of cured meat in Greece?

The history of cured meat production in Greece begins in Antiquity. Homemakers at the time were talented in the preparation of sausages and smoked meat. In later times, in Greek villages, all homemakers knew how to make their own cured meat from pork. To obtain the best taste in meat, they fed their animals with grass, acorns and corn. They waited until they were older, and after slaughtering them, they would sell the large pieces of meat to merchants and keep smaller pieces of meat to make sausages, keep them in salt, smoke them and preserve them in fat. This was the method for making the very well known salted pork or syglino that covered a family’s needs for six months.

During the Ottoman rule, livestock farming was not widespread and, as a result, meat curing did not change significantly. However, in the beginning of the 1900s, local artisans became more prominent and started making sausages and salamis with names of origin, such as Mykonos lountza and Lefkada salami. After 1955 came the first significant efforts to modernize Greek cured meat production. And by 1970, modern production facilities started making their appearance. When Greece joined the EU, the Greek cured meat industry was introduced to a period of modernization and harmonization with European standards, which resulted in the introduction of numerous, high quality products that have gained recognition in both the domestic and foreign market. Since then, innovation has become an integral part of NIKAS’s daily operation.