Friday, July 5, 2013

Njeguši, Montenegro

Njeguši is a small mountain village in southern Montenegro.  By small I mean tiny.  It is home to less than 30 residents.  Njeguši is about an hour's drive from Kotor, on the way to Budva.

Soviet WWII memorial
Historically the village is best known for being the birthplace of the Petrović dynasty which ruled the country from 1696 to 1918.  Today the village is known to produce the best pršut (prosciutto, i.e., cured ham).

Production normally begins in November when the temperature drops below 10 ºC (50 ºF).  The ham is rubbed with sea salt and pressed.  The mean is then hung to dry.  Every other day, for the the next 30 to 40 days the meat is smoked using logs and beech sawdust.  Over the next few months it ripens and air dries.  Between the 10th and 12th month is when the quality is best.  It's said that the mixture of sea and mountain air here is what gives the meat it particular good flavor.

A popular story is that in the 1950s a famous sculptor was commissioned to produce some work at a nearby national park.  He negotiated his government payment, not in money, but in the local pršut and cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment