Preserved Lamb Meat

Cured meats and meat products - Romania

Sloi is a product typically prepared in autumn in Marginimea Sibiului, Bran and Hunedoara (pastoral communities around the Carpathian Mountains), when the sheep return from the mountains. Mutton are usually selected for preservation. The sheep lard (seu) is put into a cauldron, to which the meat, garlic, onion and salt are added, and the mixture is left to boil until the meat falls off the bone and the mixture thickens.The mixture cools into a thick suspension and is poured into clay pots (traditionally) or into enamelled pots, while being careful not to allow air into the pot. The lard needs to fully cover the meat so it can keep its properties. It is then stored in underground deposits or in cool pantries. The final product is typically consumed alongside polenta, either cold or heated.It is a product which speaks volumes for the Romanian culture of transhumance and to the heritage of pastoral communities. It is also strongly associated with the transhumance practices and the seasonality under which sheepherding was organized. It is a typical product in the diet of pastoral communities, but it is not available in commercial settings, with minor exceptions. Hygiene regulations are usually incompatible with the techniques of production of sloi and with the means of preservation, and risks disappearing due to its connection to pastoral communities, whose traditional livelihood is declining.