Bísaro's story is inspiring. It starts in the 30s, with the couple António Alberto Fernandes and Beatriz Poças Jerónimo leaving Carção, a village of Vimioso, in the district of Bragança, behind, to settle in a village where they could have their own business.
Rua Coronel Cepeda, n.º 1, Gimonde
How to get there
+ 351 273 302 510 / + 351 969 361 386
João Rodrigues, Feitoria
Texto de Patrícia Serrado
Fotografias de Vânia Rodrigues
The sausages are a reflection of tradition. In addition to alheira, chorizo, salpicão, sweet blood chorizo, butelo, and ham, there is the whole loin, curd and cured tenderloin, and salted belly. “The great demand on the part of the chefs falls on fresh meats, neck, belly, and ribs. We have also developed some more innovative and specific products at the request of some chefs”, says Alexandrina Fernandes, daughter of Alberto Fernandes, who continued the family business started by her father, António Alberto Fernandes, in Gimonde, a village located on the doorstep of the Montesinho Natural Park and belonging to the council of Bragança, in Trás-os-Montes.
The proof is in the matured span or the Bísaro Pork rack, among others. “Customize or accept the challenges that our customers present” but “our goal is to keep the root, the Bísaro pig”, an indigenous breed from the Trás-os-Montes region, “hence we want to make our creations from primary production to transformation, in our factory”. Different is Butelo. A typical Trás-os-Montes dish, traditionally served on Fat Sunday, and served with bean pods previously dried and which, after being soaked, are cooked. The butelo “is made with swine bones (from the spine), ribs and tail from the Bísaro Pork, mixed with peppers, garlic, and wrapped in a large pig tripe”, he explains.
After being produced, this product goes to a “first stabilization, which allows the elimination of water, then smokes for a day, and dries between one to two weeks”. In our homes, “the butelo must be cooked”, warns Alexandrina Fernandes. Ham made from this special breed PDO, is another star product of this family business. "It is subjected to traditional salting - one day for each kilo”. After that time, it is subjected to a light wash and goes on to post-salting for approximately two months. The minimum cure is 18 months and the maximum ends at 36.
All the production processes of sausages and smoked products, including curing and maturation, are carried out at the factory, a building installed in 1987, in the place formerly occupied by the slaughterhouse of the Fernandes family.
Bísaro's story is inspiring. It starts in the 30s, with the couple António Alberto Fernandes and Beatriz Poças Jerónimo leaving Carção, a village of Vimioso, in the district of Bragança, behind, to settle in a village where they could have their own business. This is Gimonde, a village that assists with the installation of the grocery store and tavern. “They sold almost everything there was at the time and gave shelter to the mules that passed through the village”, says Alexandrina Fernandes, granddaughter of both. Add the products and snacks from Trás-os-Montes, made with Bísaro pork, which made the house famous and the meat business.
The desire to continue the activity is decisive for Alberto Fernandes, who, along with his mother and sister, Glória Fernandes, contributes to the growth of the family business inherent to the creation of this breed, without neglecting the tavern or the two butchers in the city of Bragança.
Student of Zootechnical Engineering, at the Polytechnic Institute of Vila Real – currently the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro -, Alberto Fernandes advances in the bet on the creation of Pork Bísaro. In addition to its own space to prepare the meat with a slaughterhouse, created in 1987, he converts the slaughterhouse into a factory about a decade later and, in July 1997, constitutes Bísaro – Salsicharia Tradicional. At the same time, their children, Alexandrina and Alberto, have followed the company's growth. In the beginning, “the animals were bought, in Vinhais and Bragança, for breeding and slaughter, but we were unable to have pigs as regularly as we needed. For this reason, we returned to primary production and, having our animals, we were able to better control food, management and rearing”, explains Alexandrina Fernandes. It is then that the maternity appears, installed at Quinta das Covas, located two steps from the centre of Gimonde. “In this building, the animals remain closed, because they need stable temperatures, because of the cold, for example.” After four weeks, the piglets go to an intermediate location, on the same property, followed by the fattening phase, also at Quinta das Covas and Castro Vicente, in the municipality of Mogadouro. Slaughter takes place after one year and the carcasses go to the factory, where the entire transformation process continues a legacy that remains hand in hand with the future. The products are for sale in supermarkets and in the local store, available online and with open doors for those who pass through Gimonde or stay there for holidays at A. Montesinho Rural Tourism.