In addition to lush green meadows and extensive forests, you may also encounter a few pigs while on holiday in Vöran near Meran/Merano. Fifty pigs live year round at the Obertimpflerhof farm on the village edge at an altitude of 1,280 metres. These pigs are perfectly at home in the stable and on the pasture. Fresh mountain air, plenty of space to roam and GMO-free feed ensure excellent meat quality and delicious South Tyrolean Speck.
Some of South Tyrol’s farmers still keep their own pigs, and Franz Innerhofer is one of them. He produces South Tyrolean farmer's Speck, ham, Kaminwurzen cold-smoked sausages, and farmer's salami according to old traditions directly on the farm.
Franz, where do your pigs come from?
We do not breed the pigs ourselves. As a member of Red Rooster, however, the pigs must come from South Tyrol. Ours are born in the Pustertal valley and come to us at the farm after ten to twelve weeks.
How do the animals live?
Our pigs are free range, which means that they are free to go outside throughout the year, even in the snow. We feed them with hay and Gruemet (second grass cuttings) and in summer with fresh grass as well. By in large, however, they mainly eat grain, which we buy from GMO-free businesses.
How is your delicious farmer's Speck prepared?
Our pigs are slaughtered at ten to twelve months of age in the neighbouring municipality of Mölten/Meltina. We still process the entire pig into Speck (not just the ham part) as is tradition. We do not use curing salt and nitrite, but instead use sea salt and mainly Himalayan salt.
Curing salt gives the meat a rich red colour and keeps the bacteria in check. However, some do not tolerate the nitrite in the curing salt very well.