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La Lo
Louk Louz
Close-up of slices of Greek ‘louza’ as like prosciutto

Louza

Louza or Lontza

The best-of-the best of Greek delicatessen cold cuts is lοuza, the “prosciutto of the Aegean”, and a famous product of the Cyclades. It is a short pork loin, baked in salt, wine, spices and cloves.

Its chewy texture becomes even denser as it matures, and is richly flavorful. Rather than delicate and sweet, it has intensity and depth, a bit salty, with a minimal amount of fat and the aroma of savory from Mykonos, of cloves from Syros island, and of red wine, spice and cloves from Tinos; a product whose origins are lost in the depths of time, it is prepared during the annual feast called “hirosfaghia”.

The well-nourished pig secured the family’s meat supply for the year and, in the absence of refrigeration, it had to be preserved in some way. Thus, came the sausages, the singlino, the apaki, the louza, and in many other types of delicacies.  Even though our society is no longer rural, and with the problem of food preservation solved, we look to these products for their delicacy. The most delicious of all louza is made with pork sirloin. Elsewhere they likely make it in a similar way, but the Cycladic recipe has now become the most famous, with Mykonos having the most renown, in the same way that singlino is connected to the Mani in the southern Peloponnese.

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