“Oca in onto”, a preserves based on goose meat.
The typical production area in which the geese are reared in the traditional way with grazing includes the hilly and lowland areas in the provinces of Treviso, Vicenza, Padua and Verona.
Origin of animals and breeds
The animals raised come from hatcheries located in the Po Valley and begin their life cycle on the farm at the age that can vary from 1 day to 3 weeks, depending on whether weaning is done in the breeding farm or in another specialized farm.
The geese are mainly White Heavy Geese (Romagnola) or Gray Padovane.
Heavy White Geese have white plumage, dark blue eyes, beak, legs and feet are orange-red. The legs are webbed.
The height is about 80 cm, the male is taller than the female.
The neck is vertical, long in the male, a little shorter in the female.
The wings are well attached, forward, broad, long but do not exceed the tip of the tail. They are well carried and parallel, never dragged or crossed.
The tail is short, in extension of the back, slightly raised at the end, like a slightly open fan. The chest is broad and well trimmed.
The weight, in the male, reaches about 7-8 kg, in the female 6.5 kg approx.
The Paduan Gray Geese have a coat similar to the wild goose: gray-brownish in the dorsal area, from white to cream in the belly and chest.
Orange-yellow beak and legs (sometimes pink legs). In the ventral region there is a double baleen which, when fattening is completed, almost touches the ground.
The Paduan Gray Goose is very similar to a valuable French breed (agricultural type Toulouse).
The average weight is between 6-7 kg but if well fattened, up to 8-10 kg in the male, 6-8 kg in the female. The current Paduan goose is considerably lighter.
Type of farming
The breeding is semi-wild: during the day the geese graze on the farm land used for this purpose, according to the principles of rotation, during the night the geese stay in a covered shelter.
The animals are divided into groups according to age, this to have a delay in maturity and not having to slaughter them all together. The minimum space occupied in the night shelter is as follows:
Up to the 50th day of life 0.30 m² / head
From the 51st day of life 0.50 m² / head
The bedding is straw, the shelters must have the floor completely full.
In the night shelter, running water is essential; light, for tranquility
of animals and against wild animals; food supplement.
The daytime grazing area is set up to respect the animal welfare of the animals by providing enough space for each head and ensuring natural nutrition.
The area intended for the grazing of the geese is divided into lots that allow the rotation and regrowth of the pasture (the minimum area of which can be 10 square meters per head). For all other indications regarding breeding, reference is made to the parameters indicated in Reg 1804/99.
The pasture must be sufficiently diversified with the presence of natural elements such as trees and hedges.
In the farms “natural weeding” is frequently practiced by flocks of geese. This type of biological weeding is allowed as long as no chemical weeding operations and cover fertilizations have been previously carried out; In some cases the breeders also graze the geese in orchards, vineyards and poplar groves where the form of farming prevents the birds from harming the fruits or plants.
In any case, grazing cannot be carried out in herbaceous or tree crops subjected to chemical treatments in the current year.
Mutilation systems are not allowed.
Systematic pharmacological prophylaxis are not carried out; prophylaxis are possible if imposed by the health authority (such as vaccinations) or episodic prophylaxis on the precise indication of the veterinarian in the case of high probability of serious damage to the welfare of the animals (for example anti-stress in the case of an excessively hot and sultry period that otherwise it can lead to excessive debilitation of the animals).
In therapeutic interventions, preference is given to phytotherapeutic and homeopathic products, while antibiotics or allopathic veterinary medicines are used, on the veterinarian’s prescription, only if there are no other effective remedies and if treatment is essential to avoid suffering and discomfort to animals.
The suspension time between the last administration of medicines and slaughter must be twice as long as that established by law or, if not specified, at least 48 hours.
The food ration is divided into two types:
The daytime consists of grazing and possible integration of vegetable by-products (eg: watermelons, melons, lettuces, tomatoes, fruit).
The night ration consists of an integration of feed or preferably farm raw materials
The use of cereals, grains or flours and their by-products are allowed: oats, barley, triticale, wheat, spelled, rye, corn, sorghum; oil and protein seeds and their by-products: soy, sunflower, flax, protein pea, field bean, alfalfa meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal; vegetable oils and fats authorized by current legislation; the use, if necessary, of mineral and vitamin supplements provided for by Regulation (EC) no. 1756/2002 of the Council of 23 September 2002 amending Directive 70/524 / EEC.
The night ration can be divided into two periods: the first, weaning, richer in proteins (crude protein approx. 20%); the second, fattening, where proteins drop by 2-3% to the advantage of crude fats (from 4.5 to 6%) and fiber.
In animal nutrition, however, local raw materials are to be preferred; no antibiotics, growth stimulators or other substances intended to stimulate growth or production should be used. The use of raw materials and feed produced even only partially with genetically modified organisms is excluded.
The minimum age for slaughtering geese is 120 days, with a corresponding average live weight of approximately 6.5 kg
The slaughter of the geese begins in September; the production of the “goose in onto” takes place in the period following the slaughter.
Raw material and processing
For the preparation, all the goose is used except the head, legs and internal parts, which have another destiny.
The basic ingredients used are raw goose meat, goose fat, salt, pepper and bay leaf; to these ingredients can be added – according to local traditions to enhance flavors and shelf life – some or all of the following ingredients: juniper berries, thyme, marjoram, fennel seeds, basil, cloves, nutmeg, onion and chilli. It is preferable that the ingredients have, when possible, a local origin unless they are other Slow Food Presidia. We also add wine, generally red, coming from the production area.
Stages of transformation
Goose in onto version with raw preserved meats: once sectioned into anatomical cuts, the goose meat is salted for two to five days, in a cold room at a controlled temperature (2/4 °). After salting, the meat is cleaned of excess salt and left to dry for a few days. Then take the fat (locally called “onto”), melt at a temperature of 65/70 ° with the addition of bay leaf, a little salt and pepper. Once a liquid fat has been obtained, it is packaged in glass jars or vacuum packs, in equal parts between meat and fat, to the point that the meat is totally covered with fat. A light pasteurization is then carried out and then the temperature is lowered.
Regarding this version of the preparation of “goose in onto”, in some areas there is a smoking process after salting (goose in pignatto II, Maffioli “The Treviso Cuisine”; “Veneto Cuisine, anthology of culture and gastronomic civilization”).
Goose in onto version with cooked preserved meats: the goose cut into pieces is placed in a pan covered with herbs and a splash of wine, simmered over low heat, without roasting up to approx. 80%. cooking so that at the moment of potting the bones do not detach from the meat. It is then potted and covered with its fat.
The “cooked” version can be served as it is after cleaning from the fat and preferably frayed or after a brief reheating on its own fat.
The “raw” version is taken washed in hot water to remove excess fat and salt, then it is put in a saucepan with vegetables and red wine (braised) a little tomato and spices, simmered for a few hours, then at the end cooking, the addition of peas is recommended. Ideal in spring, pea season.
Alternatively, the breast can also be eaten raw with a minimum of 6 to 7 months storage in fat.
In the past, the “goose on account” was kept from one year to the next; now, by analogy with similar meat preserves and bearing in mind unfavorable storage conditions on the part of the buyer (e.g. continuous exposure to light and / or heat, incorrect storage), the shelf life is conservatively indicated as 6 months .
Longer storage times are at the discretion of the manufacturer.
The jars are pasteurized to allow a longer shelf life of the product.
We do not use any type of dyes, preservatives and additives.
Physical and organoleptic chemical characteristics
The “goose in onto” was once traditionally packaged in terracotta or glass containers such as olla, pignatto, jar, demijohn; glassy containers are currently the favorite. The minimum package, equal to a portion approx., Weighs a total – container excluded – 350 gr, of which 200 gr of meat only. At sight the jar shows pieces of meat separated from the fat which depending on the ambient temperature can take on a semi-solid consistency with a color tending to white.
The color of the pieces of meat can vary from bright red in the “raw” version to pink / brown in the “cooked” version.
The consistency of the goose pieces, once extracted from the package, offers a moderate resistance to pressure made with a fork, but it is not such as to prevent the separation of the meat into smaller pieces.
When opening the package, no unpleasant odors should be noticed.
In the “cooked” version there is a slight scent of fat and goose meat.
In the “raw” version, the scent of fat and meat typical of raw “goose in onto” prevails.
The flavor of the “goose in onto” version cooked at the beginning is delicate, despite a slightly spicy note linked to juniper and the typical robustness of goose meat. Subsequently the flavor has pronounced and persistent notes in which the consistency and flavor of the meat due to grazing emerge.
In the “raw” version, the flavor is mainly of seasoned raw meat and fat or spicy scent due to the aromas used.
There must be no nitrites and nitrates.