Cured meats and meat products - North Macedonia
To make Krusevski sausage, pork and beef are mixed in a 3:1 ratio. Pork meat includes the ribs, belly, shoulder and low-fat neck bacon, and beef includes paflak, the Macedonian term for third category meat, usually from the belly and between the ribs. The meat is cut into pieces about 1 cm in size, and mixed with sea salt, fresh red pepper (bukovec), fresh leek, dried mint and black pepper. This mixture sits refrigerated for 24 hours, and is then stuffed into 32 mm-diameter pork casings that are 25-30 cm long. The sausages are left to hang for about two days in a well-ventilated area, and then refrigerated for up to three days. Krusevski sausages are eaten after roasting or frying. Homemade Krusevski sausage represents a typical type of sausage in Macedonia. The homeland of this sausage is the area of Kruševo in the western part of the Republic of Macedonia. Its production is connected with the Ottoman occupation of Kruševo in 1467 by Husein Bay. During the Ottoman occupation, Kruševo was a small Slovenian village, and at the end of 18th century it belonged to Kerim Bay. This delicious sausage was historically made by women in the home throughout the winter season. Still today, it is mainly made for home consumption, or for direct sales, but is not generally found in markets. The local economy and livelihood of the people of Kruševo is based on animal husbandry. The difficult living and working conditions in the area have led to high levels of migration to the surrounding towns or other regions. As a result, Kruševo today has an increasingly aging population. This means that in the near future, gastronomic specialties like Krusevski sausage may cease to be produced and will fade from knowledge. The production process is quite complex, and most of the younger generations have little interest in Krusevski sausage production.