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LIK Naklo Culture and Arts Association
The Carniolan sausage has a long tradition in Slovenia. It is a pasteurised, semi-durable, slightly smoked meat product. Its stuffing contains roughly minced pork and bacon, flavoured with pepper and garlic. The stuffing must be mixed until homogenised and well blended. Next, the stuffing is filled into thin pork sausage casings, which must be fastened with wooden skewers at both ends. The surface of the sausage is red-brown and the filling has a slightly smoky taste. If cut in half, one can see the pink-red meat and the unmelted creamy white bacon fat. The wooden skewer is a protected quality symbol of the Carniolan sausage. It is also the criterion by which the Carniolan sausage differs from other similar products. Skewers are traditionally made from field maple (Lat. Acer campestre) branches. They are either snapped or cut. For smoking the Carniolan sausage, beech tree wood is used. The sausage is first heated and then cooled. Since this is a semi-durable and not entirely smoked sausage, it needs to be cooked before eating. Traditionally, it is eaten warm together with sauerkraut or sour turnip or cold with bread (a Kaiser roll), mustard, grated horseradish and a glass of lager.
The Carniolan sausage is among the most original and popular Slovenian culinary products and its reputation echoes beyond the Slovenian borders. It is the subject of numerous folk tales, customs and social events (e.g. The Carniolan Sausage Festival in Zbilje). It is a famous dish and has been promoted by various promotional events and activities, especially after gaining the status of PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) under the EU quality scheme. The most popular story about the sausage is from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. One day, the Emperor Franz Joseph travelled in his carriage from Vienna to Trieste and stopped at the famous Marinšek Inn in Naklo, in the vicinity of Kranj. He asked the innkeeper to offer him a nice refreshment and the innkeeper said: “All I can offer is our usual house sausage.” The Emperor ordered the sausage and after tasting announced enthusiastically: “This is no ordinary sausage. This is the Kranjska (Carniolan) sausage!”
The history and the naming of the dish date back to the beginning of the 19th century, to the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The sausage was named Krainer Wurst or the sausage from Kranjska (Carniola). The origin of the sausage is to be found in the old tradition “koline”. This event was always followed by making certain meat products, among which were the semi-durable smoked sausages. Thus, both the etymology as well as other oral records prove that the meat sausage is indisputably part of the Slovenian food heritage. As part of the festive and social tradition of “koline”, the Carniolan sausage has been on the everyday menu of each Slovenian for centuries.
The Carniolan sausage originated in the territory of Gorenjska, from where its reputation spread throughout Slovenia and beyond. In the 19th century numerous butchers in Trzin supplied the markets with the Carniolan sausage all the way to Vienna. In the early 19th century, when the sausage was named Kranjska klobasa (Carniolan sausage), different nationalities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire started to identify themselves with their authentic products. In his book Die Saison der Wurst (The Sausage Season), F. Schlögl writes that at least twelve new kinds of sausages appeared in addition to the already existing eight in Vienna. Among them was the Carniolan sausage.
The Carniolan sausage is mentioned in older cook books as well. One of the oldest written records of the Carniolan sausage dates back to 1896. The then renowned cook Katharine Prato writes in her book Süddeutsche Küche about the ways this dish can be prepared. The first written record of the dish in Slovenian did not appear until 1912, when it was mentioned in the 6th edition of Felicita Kalinšek’s Slovenian Cookbook.
LEARNING AND TRANSMISSION
The Carniolan sausage has been produced continuously since its beginnings. The skills and knowledge of making the Carniolan sausage have been passed on from generation to generation. Its heritage has been preserved by both the family tradition of “koline” as well as by butchers. Even primary schools are engaged in passing on the knowledge about this beloved national dish, where various Carniolan sausage dishes are made (e.g. Naklo Primary School and the Naklo Bio-Technical Centre).
The Slovenians have had a strong sense of awareness of the Carniolan sausage as their culinary heritage. As some sources say, this awareness grew along with the national awareness of the Slovenians from the first half of the 19th century. All types of communities in Slovenia have taken part in this awareness of and attention to this culinary heritage. In June 2018, the LIK Naklo Culture and Arts Association organised the first theatrical performance of the most famous Carniolan sausage story, that of the Emperor Franz Joseph’s visit to the Pr’ Kovač Inn in Naklo. They intend the performance to take place annually on the Naklo municipal holiday (29th June). The Naklo local community has also been planning the opening of the Carniolan sausage museum and a Carniolan sausage monument in the town centre.
Since the dish is protected on both the national as well as international levels, the group of Carniolan sausage producers is limited to 14 certified meat-producing members. These are the following: CELJSKE MESNINE d.d., KRAS d.o.o., PANVITA MIR d.d., MESO KAMNIK d.d., KOŠAKI d.d., LOŠKE MESNINE d.o.o., ČADEŽ d.o.o., MESARSTVO OBLAK d.o.o., MCL Mesni center LUKA d.o.o., MESARIJA MLINARIČ d.o.o., MESARSTVO BLATNIK d.o.o., KODILA d.o.o., MESARSTVO PODOBNIK d.o.o., KMETIJA HRIBAR Marko Dolenc s.p. The Association of Producers of Carniolan sausage supervises the producers and promotes the dish nationally and internationally.
Caterers and chefs throughout Slovenia are actively engaged in preserving and promoting this dish by preparing it in traditional and modern ways; thus, the Carniolan sausage continues to keep its special place in catering services.
The Carniolan sausage has been promoted by various promotional catering, culinary, gastronomic and tourist events and activities, especially after gaining the status of PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) under the EU quality scheme. Every year, the Carniolan Sausage Festival is organised by the Association of Producers of Carniolan sausage (GIZ) in Zbilje pri Medvodah. The event brings together all sausage producers, visitors and sausage fans, who engage in culinary workshops, presentations and tastings of the Carniolan sausage and other Carniolan sausage dishes. The traditional Carniolan sausage served with bread and mustard is also offered at numerous other important international events promoting Slovenia, such as the Ski Jumping World Cup Finals Planica.
The dish entered the EU quality scheme of products with protected geographical indication (PGI) in 2015. Before that, it was protected on a national level with the label “Geografska označba porekla” (Geographical Indication of Origin). In 2012, the traditional production of the Carniolan sausage was entered in the Slovenian Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage. In 2013, this activity was proclaimed a living masterpiece of national importance.
The dish was finally protected, but only after numerous producers (especially Austrian and Croatian) had already made their own versions of its recipe and named it according to their liking. The different versions of the sausage, using names other than the Carniolan sausage, were made after the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Different kinds and ratios of meat and spices were used. The protective measures in the last few years defined the Carniolan sausage recipe with a specific list of ingredients and the process of making. At the same time, the original Slovenian Carniolan sausage can only be produced by the Slovenian certified producers.
Related Intangible Heritage
To learn more
Mojstrovine s kranjsko klobaso iz Slovenije
Založba Rokus Klett, d.o.o.. 2011
Kranjsko klobasanje - Slovenska zgodovina, kot jo pišejo packe kranjske klobase na časopisnem papirju
BELETRINA, zavod za založniško dejavnost. 2017
Izdelovanje klobas, salam in želodcev
ČZD Kmečki glas, d.o.o.. 2016
RAGOR - Razvojna agencija Zgornje Gorenjske - Ambroz Cerne
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