A typical smoked sausage of Trás-os-Montes region is greatly appreciated internationally and in Portugal. The Traditional "Alheira” was nominated as one of the 7 wonders of Portuguese gastronomy (7 Maravilhas da Gastronomia). A true “calling card” of Trás-os-Montes and Portugal.
Vinhais is the most important smokehouse (fumeiro) village of Trás-os-Montes. This region holds the title of “Capital of Fumeiro” where thus the main annual event of Trás-os-Montes smokehouse takes place attracting lots of visitors. An event that has boosted the economy of this region increasing the value and quality of Trás-os-Montes smoked sausages mostly Alheira.
"Alheiras" are smoked sausages that were originally made from the meat of game animals, pork, and ham. The meats are all seasoned shredded, placed in dry cow tripe and submitted to a cured time.
Nowadays we can find, Cod Alheira, Veal Alheira, Mushrooms Alheira and other varieties.
Alheira is arguably the gastronomic attraction of this region, but smokehouse products of this region are very complete and not lacking other fine hand-made smoked sausages such as the Chouriça, the cured Ham (Presunto), Bitter Chouriço and Sweet Chouriço, Salpicão and Butelo that gives the name to famous typical Trás-os-Montes dish “butelo com cascas”, or Butelo with dry beans.
Traditional Alheira: Obtained from Bísaro pork, beef, bread wheat and olive oil from Trás-os- Montes, salt, garlic and paprika.
Consume this light coloured, very garlicky bread sausage grilled without adding fat (pricked with a needle to let off its own fat), accompanied with turnip greens boiled, or sultéed kale.
See recipes here:http://www.pinterest.com/deliportugal/alheira-suggestions/
A certified product with a shelf life of approximately 60 days
Bísaro pig breed has Celtic origins and was subsequently crossed with Iberian pig in Portugal.
Bísaro pig is a unique indigenous breed, regaining market interest for high quality local and traditional products. Created in open field with a diet based on natural products, typical of Trás-os-Montes region as the chestnut, which allows an excellent quality meat, juicy and tasty.
Cooked or preserve in smokehouses pork meat has always been a key element in the diet of Trás-os-Montes people and throughout the country.The quality of Bísaro raw material, the long generations of traditional knowledge and the harsh climate of the region gave rise to the famous Fumeiro of Trás-os-Montes, and that delights the most demanding tastes.
The production of this type of smoked Bísaro Pork meat is protected to enclosed districts of Bragança and Vila Real.
Trás-os-Montes region in Northeast of Portugal is divided in “hot land” and “cold land” named for the huge temperature differences of a set of zones in relation to others, in their own territorial domain of Trás-os-Montes. According to the popular saying there are the "nine months of winter and three of hell" as identifying Terra Fria, long and cold winters followed by hot and short summers, without transition.
Nevertheless this region is famous for its smokehouse food and many visitors return due to its tempting dishes, mainly for their smokehouse so tasty.
The smoked sausage “alheira de Mirandela” as well as "alheira de Vinhais" is undoubtedly one of the biggest gastronomic attractions of this region.
By tradition, towards the north, Vinhais smokehouse are cured for a longer time, with more wine and garlic than Mirandese smokehouse, smoother in cure and less seasoned, these are its most distinguished characteristics.
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