Tekovský Salámový Syr PGI is a natural semi-hard, ripened full-fat cheese made with pasteurised cow's milk.
The milk is pasteurised at a temperature of 73-79°C and pure lactic acid cultures, of the genera Lactococcus or Streptococcus, are added during processing. Rennet is added for the coagulation stage, after which the curd is broken and drained. The curd is then mixed together with buttermilk and the mixture is poured into prepared moulds and pressed until the desired degree of firmness is achieved; the pressing time is about 80 minutes. The cutting, separating and extraction of the cheese forms are done by hand; the cheeses are salted in brine for 24 hours. In order to eliminate the excess liquid, the cheeses are dried at a temperature of approximately 13°C for around 24 hours. For the smoked variety the cheese is smoked with direct cold smoke, with a temperature of around 30-35 °C, until it turns a golden-yellow colour. Before being packaged, the cheeses are ripened on racks at a temperature of 8-12 °C, with a relative humidity of 90 % maximum, for at least two weeks.
Appearance and Flavour
Tekovský Salámový Syr PGI is a cylinder shape which is reminiscent of a salami (salámový syr). In the case of smoked varieties, the colour is golden-yellow and the taste is typically smoky. The unsmoked cheese is slightly yellowish in colour, has a soft consistency and an acidulous, milky and mildly aromatic taste.
Tekovský Salámový Syr PGI is produced in several municipalities in the Tekov region, Slovak.
The processing of milk into cheese in the Tekov region dates back to 1905, when one of the first cooperative dairies in Slovakia was set up in the town of Bátovce. The production of "salami-shaped" cheese, and of that which is known today as Tekovský Salámový Syr PGI, only became relatively important after the Second World War, when dairies were able to offer work to women, thereby becoming a source of support for the region.
Tekovský Salámový Syr PGI should be kept in a cool place, preferably refrigerated. It is excellent as a snack, starter or to eat with an aperitif, but it can also used as an ingredient in more elaborated dishes.
The product is marketed as Tekovský Salámový Syr PGI (unsmoked) and Tekovský Salámový Syr Údený (smoked). It is sold in food-quality film.
Tekovský Salámový Syr PGI is characterised by its unmistakeable distinctive and unique form, fruit of the special skills of the cheese producers, who are able to produce the salami shape by hand.