In the cold region of Barroso-Montalegre, smoked sausages and meats prevail.
Alheira de Barroso-Montalegre
Farinhota, sangueira, pernil, barriga, chouriços; the list is extensive and includes the much appreciated Alheira de Barroso-Montalegre. A PGI product (Protected Geographical Indication), this sausage is made from Bísaro pig meat with small amounts of poultry meat, game, bread, extra virgin olive oil, onion, garlic, and hot spices. Another characteristic of this sausage is that it is smoked indirectly since local houses, with their fireplaces always lit, provide the perfect environment for its slow and smooth smoking process, with local wood imparting its aroma. The legend goes that alheira was invented by the Jews who, expelled from Castela in the 15th century, took refuge in Trás-os-Montes. To hide their identity, they created a sausage made entirely of bread and chicken instead of pork meat. Later, Trás-os-Montes people transformed the original recipe by adding pork to it. It may or not be true, but it is still an interesting story about alheira.