History of pork in Europe

Pork has been popular on the European tables for ages. It was served in many ways, and the recipes have been continuously improved. The main merit of pork is its easy preparation. Europeans appreciate its taste and nutritional values and the high quality guaranteed by the EU production standards.

Pig is one of the oldest farmed animals because it was domesticated already in the year 5000 B.C. The easy adaptation and omnivorousness of that animal allowed the people at that time to tame it earlier than for example cattle. For over four thousand years pork is a dominant meat also in the European region, e.g. on the areas of the present Poland which is proved by archeological excavations.

In medieval Europe all forms of venison were popular, however, a majority of the consumed meat was gained from farmed animals. Pork was very popular – pigs were easier to maintain and could eat cheaper feed. What is interesting, piglets were treated as a delicacy. Since meat was more expensive than plant products on the tables of medieval Europeans cereal products dominated: groats and bread and legumes and vegetables which were an important supplementation of lower social strata diet.

Pork was appreciated for taste and wholesomeness. What is interesting, e.g. in Poland already in the 18th century people tried to create such breeding conditions so as to obtain possibly the largest quantity of meat fast. To compare, with the grazing rearing system pigs gained 80-90 kg of mass during 2 years of life.

At present, pork is one of the most frequently consumed meats in the world and its consumption still grows. Most pork is consumed by Europeans, and among them, by Germans, Spanish, Danish, Poles and Dutch people. Thanks to our campaign the also the inhabitants of Canada and Japan can join the European fans of pork. Good appetite!

DO YOU KNOW THAT…

The merits of pork were noticed already in the ancient world. Marcus Gavius, the author of the first known cook book of ancient Rome, titled: “De Re coquinarialibriDecem”, which means “Ten Books On the Culinary Art”, provides the first recipes for sausages and distinguishes the vocation of a butcher.


 

European standards of pork production

The European Union takes care of products safety in agricultural food products chain covering, according to the „from farm to fork” policy all production stages – through preventing products contamination, promoting hygiene and dissemination of information about food, plants health and animal welfare.

 
Meat from the European Union means not only great taste. It also means strict food safety standards. In order to ensure plant and animal health and to guarantee that both food products and feed are always of high quality, in this agricultural food products chain obligatory and detailed inspections are conducted.

European breeders take care of their animals and care that they should not be short of anything. It is consistent with EU policy of animal welfare according to which they are beings able to feel. It is the task of the breeders to satisfy animals’ basic needs. Namely: adequate feeding, access to water, life space, treatment, hygiene and room micro-climate and lighting conditions.

 
The necessity to ensure meat health safety is associated with the implementation of European management systems discussed, among others, in the following documents:

– Act of 25th August 2006 on food and nutrition safety.
– Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council No. 178/2002 of 28th January 2002 defining the general principles and requirements of the food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and establishing food safety procedures
– Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council No. 852/2004 of 29th April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs

 
European tools for ensuring food health safety

GHP (Good Hygienic Practice)
specified activities and hygienic conditions which have to be met and controlled at every stage of production and trade
GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice)
a set of production procedures, standard of premises and control quality in the process of products manufacturing, packing and storage
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System)
it guarantees that the production plant fully cares for the product safety based on the regulations, principles of good manufacturing practices and expectations of breeders and consumers


 

Recipes

We are presenting interesting recipes for main dishes and for a salad with the use of pork and ingredients commonly available in Canada. We want to show you how easy it is and fast to prepare a delicious meal with European pork or its products.

golabkiMEAT-STUFFED CABBAGE IN TOMATO SAUCE

Ingredients for stuffing (ca. 15 pieces)
500 g – 750 g minced meat (not pre-spiced)
2 bags of white rice
1 egg
1 large garlic clove
1 medium onion
salt, pepper
sweet ground pepper

Ingredients for tomato sauce:
1 small jug with mashed tomatoes
salt, pepper

Also:
2 large cabbages
toothpicks

Preparation:
Divide the cabbage into separate leaves. Boil water in a large pot. Blanch separate cabbage leaves in hot water. Leave to cool down. Cook rice. Dice the onion and fry slightly in oil. In a big bowl mix the minced meat, cooked rice, and fried onion, pressed garlic, whole egg and the remaining spices (as you like). Put 2 heaped tablespoons of stuffing on each cabbage leave, roll up the sides of the leave carefully and dig a toothpick.
Prepare the sauce. Pour ca. ½ liter of water into the pan. Boil. Add about 2 tablespoons of mashed tomatoes. Add spices as you like. Cook 1 minute. Then, place the stuffed cabbage in a heat-resistant vessel and pour 1/3 of the tomato sauce. Set the oven to thermaflow and roast for ca. 45-60 minutes (it depends on the oven) in 180 degrees Centigrade. After it is roasted, pour sauce on the stuffed cabbages.

zeberka1

OLD POLISH STYLE JUICY RIBS

Ingredients:
1.5 kg of ribs
2-3 tablespoons of honey
1 lemon
1 onion
1 tablespoon of mashed tomatoes or ketchup
oil
salt, pepper

Preparation:
Wash the ribs, dry carefully, cut into portions and add salt and pepper to taste. Fry the meat prepared in this way in hot oil and next put it in a heat-resistant vessel. Peel the onion, dice and fry it slightly until transparent, in hot oil. Next, add onion to meat.
Press the lemon and pour lemon juice into a bowl, add honey and mashed tomatoes. Mix well and use this sauce on the ribs. Stew the meat under cover in temperature of 180 degrees Centigrade. Serve with roasted potatoes and tomato salad.

SALAD WITH ROASTED PORK AND STRAWBERRIES

zeberkaIngredients:
12 strawberries
1 radicchio head
100g arugula
1 pork fillet
1 tablespoon of oil
1 rosemary twig
3 tablespoons of virgin oil
3 tablespoons of sweet sherry wine
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
salt, fresh ground pepper

Preparation:
Remove the membrane from the fillet, cut half alongside, rub with oil, cover with rosemary leaves, and leave in a refrigerator for one hour. Add salt and pepper to the meat, roast it on grate on both sides till it is browned, place on a board. Cut radicchio into slices, place in a large bowl together with arugula. Pour sherry and wine vinegar in a small bowl, add salt and mix till salt dissolves, add oil gradually, mixing all the time until homogenous sauce is formed.
Place rinsed, hulled and cut into quarters strawberries in a bowl, next the fillet slices, add pepper, pour the sauce, mix, and serve.

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