Matsyk is a type of raw, cured meat, made of locally produced choice pork. The production process consists of several steps over three to twelve months. First, the sinew and fat is removed from a pork leg, and the meat is cut into small chunks. The pieces of meat are spiced with a mixture of salt, sugar, black pepper, coriander, mustard seeds and bay leaf. The spiced meat is kept in a cool room (about 5°C) for several days, occasionally mixed. Then, the marinated meat is stuffed into a casing made from the animal’s stomach. It may then be pressed to remove excess liquid or directly hung in a dry place. In some homes, matsyk is hung along the roof where hay is stored and takes on some of the hay aroma. Curing lasts three to twelve months, and during this matsyk loses up to 50% of its weight.
Matsyk has a long history in Eastern Europe and particularly northern Ukraine, specifically in Volodymyrets, Sarny, Dubrovytsia, and Zarichne Districts of the Rivne Region, and Manevytskyi and Liubeshivskyi District of the Volyn Region. It dates from the times when modern technologies of meat storage did not yet exist, but there was a need for long-term meat preservation. The pork would be cut before Christmas, mixed with salt and cured for minimum of three months. It was very popular among travelers, warriors and merchants.
Today, there is no matsyk production on an industrial level, and it cannot be found in the supermarkets, only bought directly from the manufacturer. The product is made at homes for personal use and for direct sale to individual customers. As matsyk is made of high-quality meat and is up to three or four times more expensive than other salami or meat products found in supermarkets, it is much less popular and even unknown to many people