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Lapin Poron Liha
The Lapin Poron Liha is reindeer meat (Rangiferus tarandus L.) from Lapland, obtained from the butchering and working of reindeer carcasses whose age is less than one year and carcasses of adult reindeer that are over a year old as well as their parts (cuts).
Method of working/Cultivation/Breeding
The breeding of the reindeer follows traditional methods and is organized based on a cooperative of breeders system. There exist around 56 cooperatives. The reindeer breeders follow the natural rhythm of the North, with their work consisting primarily in gathering the animals, in their marking, counting, sorting, transporting, herding and in the end slaughtering. The reindeers are left free in the natural pastures in spring, summer, autumn and winter before slaughter. During grazing they feed exclusively on natural sources: vascular plants (rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and trace elements) in summer; mushrooms during autumn and winter. During the period of grazing, the reindeers destined for slaughtering are chosen and separated from the animals that will remain alive and on their ear is put a mark with the slaughtering number. Generally the animals destined for slaughtering are around 70-75% 5-8 month old calves, whose alimentation does not include supplementary feeds. With respect to the adult reindeer destined to be slaughtered, their alimentation includes supplementary rations of hay produced in the reindeer husbandry area, so that they can stay where they are until transport to the abattoir or during sorting when they take longer than usual. The reindeer are slaughtered in the reindeer husbandry area and the supervision of slaughter, the meat inspection, the chilling, transport, and storage of carcasses before the sale are performed in accordance with Community legislation.
Aspect and Taste
The Lapin Poron Liha PDO has a dark colour, tender and leaves a characteristic game taste. Reindeer fibers are thinner than those of beef or elk meat, its energy content is similar to that of the beef meat, but less fatty.
The Lapin Poron Liha PDO is produced exclusively in the Finnish reindeer husbandry area, which includes the Province of Lapland (excluding the cities of Kemi and Tornio and the municipality of Keminmaa), the municipalities of Hyrynsalmi, Kuivaniemi, Kuusamo, Pudasjärvi, Suomussalmi, Taivalkoski and Yli-Ii in the Province of Oulu and the areas North of the River Kiiminkijoki and the Puolanka-Hyrynsalmi road in the municipalities of Puolanka, Utajärvi and Ylikiiminki.
The history of Lapin Poron Liha PDO is linked to the tradition of the wild reindeer: animal with historic origins and of huge importance for hunting. The first paintings that depicted animals similar to reindeer appeared around 3000 years ago. First it was only hunted, and from the XVII century, it became the principal animal for breeding in the north of Finland, even if the first information on reindeer husbandry in Europe appeared in 892 AD. Half tamed animal, the reindeer comes from the wild Scandinavian mountains. In the literature, the first reference to the reindeer as a foodstuff product appeared in 1555 and is found in the book of Olaus Magnus "Histrory of the Northern Peoples". In the current Finnish region, this animal has been kept since the 18th century. Today, the meat of the reindeer is produced by professional reindeer rearers, using traditional methods; in fact currently in Finland there are 5037 reindeer owners.
The Lapin Poron Liha PDO can be kept for a long period of time if conserved in very cold places, before cooking. The reindeer meat is a Lapland specialty, very tasty. It is served smoked, in stews, in fillets in the oven, or simply char-grilled.
The product is sold as Lapin Poron Liha PDO. It is sold as whole, half and quarter carcasses, or in carcasses and meat cuts for direct use or for storage.
The climate of the Northern regions, extremely harsh, very distinguishable seasons (e.g. the midnight sun versus the long, cold, snowy winter) and highly nutritious summer feed make the meat of Lapin Poron Liha PGI a unique product.