Deer slinzega is a typical cured meat from the Val Posciavo, in Switzerland’s Graubünden Canton, in one of the four valleys that make up Italian Switzerland . It looks like bresaola but is prepared with smaller pieces of meat which gives it a stronger flavor.
The salting process requires the use of many different spices, like cloves, cinnamon, pepper, garlic, and bay leaves, and as it has no external casing the meat is eaten whole. Today, as in the past, deer slinzega is placed in special basins where they are covered in flavored brine made from an ancient recipe and subsequently massaged on alternate days, for at least ten days. Afterwards, the meat is hung out to dry before being passed on to the seasoning stage. During this long process the meat gradually dries, which brings out the spices’ aromas and gives the product its flavorful and aromatic quality.
The process takes at least 50 days before the deer slinzega can be cut. The end product can be conserved from 60 to 90 days, and during this period it naturally continues the seasoning process. To keep the product soft and thus elongate its conservation time it can be vacuum sealed at a temperature between two and four degrees Celsius. The meat takes on an irregular, cillindrical form, and can way anywhere between 300 and 800 grams. Slinzega is high in protein and therefore easily digested. The meat is decidedly lean and has a dark red color. Slinzega is delicious when eaten in thin slices with no condiments; it can also be served as an aperitif, with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and wheat bread. It is excellent when eaten with red and dark beers.
This product is at risk of disappearing because its production is tied to deer hunting, which is less and less popular.