05 Jul Visit the Catalan Fuet and Salchichon Olmeda Origenes Factory
A Memorable Visit to the Fuet Catalan and Salchichon de Vic Factory in Barcelona
Last Monday, on the 3rd of July, we had the visit in Spain of the sales managers from the Philippines distributor, Werdenberg and Santis Deli, so we all had the pleasure of visiting the factory of Fuet Catalan and Salchichon de Vic in Barcelona. This visit was organized to gain a deeper understanding of the production process and to discover the remarkable team of only five individuals responsible for crafting the traditional fuet and salchichon de Vic for Olmeda Origenes with all their dedication.
As we stepped into the factory, we were immediately enveloped by a sense of magic that permeated the air. The facility, equipped with only two machines, exemplified the essence of artisanal craftsmanship. One machine expertly minced the meat, while the other blended the pepper, ensuring a meticulous combination of flavors. Witnessing this process firsthand, which we had only heard about in awe, was truly astonishing.
The factory’s commitment to quality was evident from the very beginning. Every Friday, they receive fresh raw pork hams, shoulders, and back, which are meticulously deboned by hand. This careful attention to detail guarantees that only the finest quality meat is used as the foundation for their fuet and salchichon. The fat, another crucial ingredient, is meticulously cut into small dices by hand, following the IGP VIC regulations precisely.
Once the meat is prepared, it rests in coolers until Monday, allowing the flavors to meld and develop. On the designated day, the meat is minced and combined with the perfect proportions of black pepper, fat, and salt in a blender. The mixer employs a vacuum system to extract oxygen from the meat—a critical step, as oxygen can hinder the aging process. The resulting mixture is then meticulously hand-filled into natural pork casings and left to rest in the heavenly environment of the aging chamber.
The aging chamber, with its precisely controlled ambient temperature and humidity, is where the true transformation takes place. The humidity encourages the growth of natural white and blue molds, which aid in the aging process and give the fuet its distinctive whitish color. Interestingly, many large-scale industrial producers fake this external appearance by adding flour, but here, authenticity reigns supreme.
The fuet requires two months of aging, whereas a regular industrial fuet ages for a mere two weeks. The salchichon de Vic, being thicker, needs three months to fully develop its flavors, while the majestic Salchichon de Vic magnum requires up to eight months, becoming a true gastronomic gem. Once the aging period is complete, the pieces are carefully brushed to remove excess mold, and each one is individually packed in vacuum-sealed bags, ready to be shipped to importers worldwide.
After our awe-inspiring visit to the factory, we were treated to an extraordinary lunch hosted by the owner and his family—Urbici, Lali, and Carla—at their own residence. The meal was meticulously curated and prepared by Chef Oriol Sala, the proprietor of El Bart. We indulged in a delectable rice dish with Botifarra, tapas featuring fuet, secallona, salchichon de Vic, and Salchichon de Vic magnum, a refreshing strawberry salad with pine nuts, and a delightful turron de Xixona ice cream, crafted by a local artisan.
Visiting our suppliers is always a remarkable experience, but this particular trip was made even more special thanks to Urbici and his family, who warmly welcomed us into their home. Their cheerful and generous spirits made us feel like part of their family, creating memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
In conclusion, our visit to the Fuet Catalan and Salchichon de Vic factory in Barcelona was an extraordinary journey into the world of artisanal meat production. We witnessed firsthand the passion, precision, and dedication that goes into creating these traditional delicacies. The experience deepened our appreciation for the skilled artisans who uphold centuries-old traditions, and we left with a greater understanding of the impeccable quality that defines Olmeda Origenes’ fuet and salchichon de Vic, strengthening our values of always betting on the artisan, top manufacturers for our assortment.