The founder of the factory was Mark Pick (1843 – 1892) of Czech-Moravian origin, who had the factory built on the bank of River Tisza because the microclimatic circumstances provided by the Tisza.
The expression “Teliszalami” recalls old ties when salami could only be manufactured in the winter.
After the death of the founder (1892) his widow and her brother led the factory.
It quickly captured the world and was awarded a bronze medal in the Paris World Fair in 1900.
The year 1900 was significant in the life of the company for another reason as well, since the factory was moved to the bank of the Upper-Tisza.
The eldest son, Jenő Pick – who took part in the leading since 1898 – joined the firm in 1906. It was the beginning of a new age in the history of the factory. He bought the bankrupt ‘Tiani’ salami factory in the neighbourhood, so the whole real estate at the Tisza-part belonged to the Pick’s family.
Jenő Pick was aspired to get great changes with modern instruments. He had a good sense for the market, he saw the importance of the promotion. Salami became leader product in the first decade of the 20th century. The Pick factory has become the largest food processing company in Hungary in the interwar period, the Pick salami became a world famous brand. Jenő Pick led the salami factory alone from 1934 under the name of ‘Mark Pick’ until the nationalisation.
Quality work is indispensable without technical and technological modernisation. This effort and ambition are always present at the salami factory of Szeged. As a result of this, cooling technology became able to allow ongoing production throughout the year by the end of the 1950s, whereby the seasonal nature of production was kept only in the name of the “Winter Salami”.
In 2007, the “Winter Salami” gained European Union PDO status.
After cutting, the production processes were broken down as follows:
- Carefully selected cuts of pork. “Winter salami” was not made from the meat of young, one-year-old porkers weighing 100-150 kg.
- hanging (the meat had to be left to cool and drip-dry).
- de-boning (the pork, now cool, was skinned and the tendons removed. None of the so-called “flacni” (white tendon attached to the bone) could be allowed to mix with the “pasztahús”, the resultant meat mixture).
- The meat was left to rest and “sweat” following boning and cutting up.
- Bacon was added to the carefully selected meat, as the requisite fat content helped prevent the finished salami from completely drying out.
- The meat and bacon were cut up and pre-smoked, which again involved waiting time (further removal of water by salting) during which the basic material became increasingly dry.
- Homogenisation (grinding) of the pre-seasoned material – thorough mixing with the seasoning, ie. further homogenisation of the “paste” (the seasoned and ground mass of salami).
- Then came the filling and tying. The filled and specially tied lengths of salami were smoked.
- The smoking process was carried out using hardwood sawdust of the requisite quality.
- From here the lengths of salami were taken to the maturing tower and kept there until the draught had caused the regulation coating of “noble rot” to cover the whole product.
- No consignment of salami was allowed to leave the factory without a control of its quality. A few lengths of salami were selected from the finished product from a particular production cycle and cut through diagonally with a razor-sharp knife. If even the smallest amount of tendon remained on the blade, it could not be sold as a first-class product.
- Only after this was the salami packaged, traditionally given a banderole in the Hungarian national colors of red, white, and green. The ends are secured with string and given a lead seal and sent for distribution.
Good to know:
- Paprika did not originally feature among the seasonings used in Pick salami; it was only later that paprika-flavoured (“choice”) and “spicy” salami was introduced
- The principal guarantee of quality was the salami masters with their outstanding expertise. They lived on the factory premises and were on hand night and day to take any measures in the maturing process which were necessary because of changes in the weather. Everything depended on the weather. How much ventilation time was necessary or possible? At what level should the salami going through the maturing process be kept?
- The secrets of Pick salami. No-one has yet succeeded in copying it. Each salami master knew about only one part of the production process.
- In 2008, the first Asian Pick office was open in Japan, Tokyo